Former NFL Player Yo Murphy Breaks Down Over Damar Hamlin Injury

Yo Murphy played 14 years of professional football and has basically seen it all, but he became choked up during an interview on Evening Debrief.
Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 04, 2023

What happened to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals was both devastating and traumatic, not just for Hamlin, but for the players and coaches on both teams, the fans in the stands, and millions watching the NFL broadcast. The 24-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle, then collapsed on the field. He was given CPR for an interminable 15 minutes, then rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Hamlin was revived on the field at least once and is still in critical condition. 

Former wide receiver Llewellyn "Yo" Murphy played 14 years of professional football and is the only player in professional football history who played in four different pro leagues. Murphy has basically seen it all, but he became so choked up during an interview on Evening Debrief with Scripps News anchor Del Walters, he couldn't finish his thought. He told Walters through tears that he was thinking about Hamlin's mother. 

It's been an emotional few days for everyone involved, from Hamlin's family and friends to his teammates and coaches, and especially his hometown of McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburg. Athletes across the spectrum have been impacted by the stunning injury. 

Fans Give Millions To Damar Hamlin's Toy Drive For Kids

Fans Give Millions To Damar Hamlin's Toy Drive For Kids

Roughly $5.5 million was donated in the first 24 hours after his injury. And the number is climbing.


"First of all, this is a tragic event. It's dramatic to see and to watch someone get CPR and get shocked," Dr. Michael Emery told Walters during the same interview with Murphy on Evening Debrief. "You know, even me as a medical professional when I see it, it's still affects me." 

Responding medics used a defibrillator on Hamlin to revive him after he went into cardiac arrest. 

Emery, the co-director of the Sports Cardiology Center at the Cleveland Clinic, said the key in a situation like this is an emergency action plan. 

"So, they were prepared for this rare and these kind of sudden cardiac arrests at athletic events are rare, but they were prepared for it with prompt recognition, activation of that emergency action plan, prompt CPR, and prompt defibrillation. So that plan, that rapidity of which they administer it increased his chances of survival but doesn't guarantee it," Emery said. 

Emery also said it's too early to tell what may have caused Hamlin's cardiac arrest. 

The situation is so terrifying, parents of young football players can't help but worry about their children's safety and whether it's a wise decision to let them play the sport. 

Bills' Damar Hamlin In Critical Condition After Collapse On Field

Bills' Damar Hamlin In Critical Condition After Collapse On Field

The Buffalo Bills said in a statement that Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field and is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.


"I'm concerned, too. I'm a parent, you know," Murphy said when Walters asked him if parents should let their kids play football. 

After Murphy's pro football career ended, he began training young elite athletes. He formed a partnership with formerNFL player Brandon Marshall and founded a football training program. House of Athlete is now one of the top training programs in the U.S. 

Walters asked Murphy what had struck such a nerve during their conversation about Hamlin. 

Murphy told Walters as he wiped away tears, he's emotional about what happened to Hamlin because he's a parent and he's training almost 25 young athletes now to help them fulfill their dreams and their goals. 

"You know you see something like that, and you know I'm here for support. I'm here to help them, to guide them and I want somebody there to help my son and my daughter," he said. 

"What are we guiding them to? How are we protecting these young men? That's the nerve," Murphy added. 

"Are we doing everything we can?" he wondered. 

Walters asked Murphy, as a parent, do you let your kid play football? 

"You know, I hope he loves baseball, you know golf."

Scripps News' Del Walters, Debra Calvin, and Kristi Roman contributed to this story.