The Buffalo Bills’ quarterback says there’s no place for criticism of Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, who was on the other end of a collision with Damar Hamlin just before the safety collapsed.
Josh Allen was standing up to leave the microphone Thursday after addressing media in Orchard Park, New York, but sat back down quickly.
“I do want to say one more thing,” he told reporters.
The star quarterback referenced “some stuff I saw on Twitter” criticizing Higgins, with the critics implying he bears blame for Hamlin’s medical emergency.
Allen said he was glad to see Hamlin’s parents quickly reject that idea. They said through a spokesperson Wednesday that the incident was a “freak accident” and “nothing that Tee could control.”
“I hope that he got some relief today,” Allen said of Higgins. “People should not be attacking him whatsoever, and I’m glad that Damar’s family came out and said that.”
“That’s a football play, and I hope that he doesn’t hold that upon himself, because there is nothing else that he could have done in that situation,” the quarterback added.
The hard collision between the two players before Hamlin collapsed did not prompt a penalty from officials.
Higgins has reached out to share his support for the hospitalized safety’s family, the Hamlins’ spokesperson said.
Well-wishers support Higgins’ cause: The Bengals receiver has seen a wave of donations for a foundation he supports in the time since Hamlin’s injury.
Two verified GoFundMe campaigns supported by Higgins have raised nearly $20,000 to help fight ALS. Over 800 donations have poured in for the axeALS Foundation, and that number was still climbing Thursday.
Former NFL player Eric Stevens founded axeALS with his wife, Amanda, after he was diagnosed with the disease at just 29 years old.
“After the incident, people wanted to support Higgins and they saw his #MyCauseMyCleats campaign and they started donating on our website,” Amanda Stevens told CNN on Thursday.
“There are amazing humans out there, wanting to do good for the world,” Stevens said.