BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills safety Damar Hamlin is this year’s recipient of the Alan Page Community Award, as voted on by the National Football League Players’ Association, recognizing his community service, inspirational recovery from going into cardiac arrest during a game, and the outpouring of charity that followed.
Hamlin was presented with the award and a $100,000 donation to his Chasing M’s Foundation on Wednesday in Phoenix, the site of Super Bowl LVII.
“One of my favorite quotes: it’s a blessing to be a blessing,” Hamlin said, reading from a brief statement with his parents on stage with him. “With that being said, I plan to never take this position for granted and always have an urgent approach to making a difference in the community where I come from and also communities across the world.”
The Alan Page Community Award is regarded as the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. It is given each year to a player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his team’s city or his hometown.
“Giving back to my community has always been a part of who I am,” Hamlin said. “I’m thankful for my father, who’s right here behind me, growing up watching him doing community days in our community. I always was waiting on my time when it came.”
Hamlin was one of five finalists for the award after he was named Week 18 NFLPA Community MVP. Since going into cardiac arrest and collapsing on the field during Buffalo’s game in Cincinnati on Jan. 2, Hamlin has inspired NFL fans with his recovery. His foundation, which held a community toy drive in December, has raised more than $9 million.
“He is not only an individual who has overcome a tremendous amount, he’s not only a person who reminds us just how dangerous this game is, but also the spirit, the love, the joy, the fraternity of people who play this game,” NFLPA executive director Demaurice Smith said.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.