These past two days have been more emotional than usual across sports television as everyone processes the Damar Hamlin injury and tries to figure out how to forge on with their show. So you’re seeing some things you don’t normally see. Like ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky leading the NFL Live set in prayer on Tuesday.
“Football gave me everything,” Orlovsky said. “And I think in the midst of absolute tragedy last night, we saw some of the beauty of football as well — that it’s brought us all here together. This is a little bit different — I’ve heard it all day, like ‘Thoughts and prayers.’ And you just heard Brandon Scherff and Jonathan Allen say that ‘all we can do is pray for him,’ and I heard the Buffalo Bills organization say that ‘we believe in prayer.’ And maybe this is not the right to do, but it’s on my heart that I want to pray for Damar Hamlin right now. I’m going to do it out loud, I’m going to close my eyes, I’m going to bow my head, and I’m going to pray for him.”
Orlovsky, eyes closed, said the following prayer as co-hosts Laura Rutledge and Marcus Spears bowed their own heads.
“God, we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard because we believe that you’re God and coming to you and praying to you has impact. We’re sad, we’re angry. We want answers but some things are unanswerable. We just want to pray, truly come to you and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar. Be with his family to give them peace. If we didn’t believe that prayer didn’t work we wouldn’t ask this of you God. I believe in prayer. We believe in prayer. We lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in your name. Amen.”