BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Josh Allen said Tuesday that recent conspiracy theories related to Damar Hamlin using a body double at the Bills Divisional Round playoff game are “stupid,” and said Hamlin was in the locker room before and after the game. The comments came while Allen was a guest on NFL Network host Kyle Brandt’s podcast, “Kyle Brandt’s Basement.”
Brandt cited several mainstream media outlets, as well as pundits with large followings, as running stories and pushing the conspiracy theories “into the tin foil hat territory.” “That’s stupid,” Allen responded.
Brandt explained that the bogus theories came to be after NFL viewers saw Hamlin wearing a face covering, sunglasses, and a hat to the game, as CBS’ broadcast footage of Hamlin was blurred by snow. “One, that’s Damar’s swag—he likes wearing that,” Allen explained. “Two, he was in the locker room with us pregame, so yes, that was Damar. … That’s the Damar Hamlin, that’s our guy, our brother. He was with us pregame, postgame, he was up in the suite with his family, his little brother 100%.”
Many of the conspiracy theories falsely claim that Hamlin died on the field. Some spread from vaccine misinformation, claiming that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused not by the impact of his hit on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, but rather, the COVID vaccine. “People need to stop that s***,” Allen said.
Matt Milano posted a photo on his Instagram story with a clear view of Hamlin’s face during Hamlin’s return to the team in mid-January. Hamlin himself refuted the theories on Twitter, saying, “Thankful for all the GENUINE love, thoughts & prayers from all across the world.. y’all will hear from me soon!” followed by a 3 emoji and a heart hands emoji.
Hamlin’s friend and representative Jordon Rooney, who provided many updates during Hamlin’s time in the hospital, also addressed the theories, calling them “simple minded” and encouraging people to spend time with their kids, on a hobby, or reading a book rather than buying into conspiracy theories.