Biden says NFL is not too violent but needs more safety after Hamlin’s heart attack

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COVINGTON, Ky. — President Biden on Wednesday said the NFL should continue to improve protections for its players, but that Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin’s on-field collapse Monday wasn’t a sign that professional football had become too dangerous.

Mr. Biden weighed in on Mr. Hamlin’s injury before returning to Washington from Kentucky where he touted new infrastructure spending.

“No,” Biden said when asked by The Washington Times if he thinks the NFL is too dangerous.

He said that the sport is inherently risky. “We’ve got to just acknowledge it,” he said.

“Look, the idea that you’re going to have—you’ve got guys that are 6‘8, 340 pounds … if you hit somebody—and that’s not what happened here,” said the president. “I don’t know how you avoid it. I think working like hell on the helmets and the concussion protocols, that all makes a lot of sense.”

Mr. Biden said he had spoken with Mr. Hamlin’s mother and father “at length” following the player’s health emergency.

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Mr. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest in the first quarter of Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in improving but critical condition.

Some medical experts have speculated that Mr. Hamlin suffered commotio cordis, a condition caused by blunt force trauma to the chest that causes cardiac arrest.

• Joseph Clark contributed to this story.

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