ESPN handled Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest drama as best they could in broadcast

It’s not every day that as a sports commentator or broadcaster, you get to experience critical moments such as Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. When these situations present themselves, the team that handles these broadcasts can often make mistakes. Showing the image of what’s happening on the field can be too much to handle for viewers, especially how the other players are taking the situation. As Hamlin was getting CPR and getting his pulse back, his teammates and Cincinatti Bengals players were crying and praying for him.

ESPN’s broadcast team knew they couldn’t show those images to the general public, knowing fully well there were probably children watching. All they could do was cut to the studio and do their best at describing the situation. Presenters Suzy Kolber, Adam Schefter and former NFL player Booger McFarland were in studio at the moment it all happened. They handled the situation as best they could, considering how grave it all was. Booger could barely hold his composure as he attempted to explain how serious everything felt at that moment.

Kolber: ‘We cannot speculate on Hamlin’s health’

The show’s host, Suzy Kolber was the one that led the entire situation by stating that ESPN couldn’t speculate one bit about the situation. All they knew at the moment was that Damar Hamlin was getting CPR procedures and paramedics were doing their best o save him. Narrator Joe Buck did his best to describe the situation as they could only show images that weren’t too hard to take for the viewers. This is what he said: “It’s really hard. It’s hard just to describe it. What we all feel [is irrelevant], think about the Hamlin family and what they feel and that’s the focus, but this went from a sports story to a news story from a sporting event to a matter of life and death like that.

“There was a moment when the medical personnel was all out there, and we’re standing up here, and unfortunately, like Lisa said, we’ve been through a lot of situations in games where we stood up here and you’re watching medical personnel make sure somebody’s okay down on the field. You think they’re going through a blow to the head or something along those lines. It switched quickly. It went from what is the typical ‘everybody gather ’round let’s make sure this player is okay’ to those who are on the field in his immediate vicinity administering CPR and really pounding on his chest. A lot of that was not on TV.”