The Buffalo Bills’ training staff will receive the “Pat Tillman Award for Service presented by MassMutual” at the 2023 “ESPYS,” airing Wednesday, July 12 at 8 p.m. EDT. The Bills’ trainers are being recognized for “their commitment to every member of the team,” most notably in the immediate aftermath of safety Damar Hamlin’s traumatic cardiac arrest on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals this past January.
Hamlin suffered what’s known as commotio cordis, which caused him to collapse on the turf of Paycor Stadium following a routine tackle during the first half of a nationally broadcast Monday Night Football game. Almost immediately, Buffalo’s training staff, led by the heroic actions of assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington, “exemplified mental toughness and immediately performed life-saving measures” to give Hamlin the best chance at both survival and a full recovery.
Per the ESPN press release, the Pat Tillman Award for Service is:
an award given to a group with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman. Past recipients of the Pat Tillman Award for Service include Gretchen Evans (2022), Kim Clavel (2020), and Jake Wood (2019).
The “ESPYS,” held annually, endeavors to enhance awareness and raise funds to benefit the “V Foundation for Cancer Research.” The charitable foundation was created in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano — a former basketball player, coach, and announcer — during the first “ESPYS” event.