Damar Hamlin Speaks Out on Controversial Super Bowl Crucifix Jacket Amid Criticism

The Buffalo Bills star attended the big game almost a month after he was released from the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

Damar Hamlin is apologizing to fans, and fellow NFL player Adrian Peterson, after they took offense to the jacket he wore at the Super Bowl. On Sunday, Hamlin wore a $3,150 Takashi Murakami jacket called the "Travis Jesus," with a cartoon crucifix on it. On top of the design was the word "Eternal."

Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest during the Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals game on Jan. 2, attended the Super Bowl following his release from the hospital on Jan. 11.  

During Sunday's game, Peterson and some NFL fans went public with their comments, and Hamlin took to Twitter to speak out about the backlash. 

"After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people. It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior! (1/2),” the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills star wrote on Wednesday.  

"My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have. Matthew 7:1-5," he wrote in a follow-up tweet. 

Hamlin’s replies were met with a mix of support and fans telling him that he had nothing to worry about. In a since-edited Instagram post, Peterson -- who is public with his religious beliefs -- said that he felt the jacket Hamlin wore was "disrespectful."

However, Peterson’s new message said that he spoke with Hamlin and did not believe he was trying to be disrespectful. 

"I do realize everyone makes mistakes and falls short at times, so again, my intention was never to judge, just to share my opinion," he wrote in part. "Damar, I have respect and love for you and I wish you nothing but the best, but I just can’t rock with that jacket. I feel like there are a lot people, young and old, looking up to you and with power and influence comes great responsibility. I apologize for offending you, I just felt offended in that moment as a man who loves and respects our Lord and Savior, Yeshua. After speaking with Damar, I have an understanding that it didn’t come from a place of ill intent! #grateful #god #forgiveness."

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Hamlin sat alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodall and Travis and Jason Kelce’s mother, Donna Kelce, during the game. Prior to kickoff, the first responders and medical professionals who assisted Hamlin following his cardiac arrest were honored on the field

On Monday, Hamlin sat down with Good Morning America and credited his faith and spoke about how happy and grateful he is to be alive following the scary incident.

"I'm just thankful [God] gave me a second chance, you know, just to live normally and just come out almost without a scratch on me," Hamlin said. "Just to be able to keep going."