Damar Hamlin has now offered up his perspective on the jacket he wore to Super Bowl LVII that ruffled some feathers. Former NFL running back Adrian Peterson took exception with the depiction of Jesus on the jacket, but Hamlin said his intention was never to insult anyone.
Peterson initially took to social media and blasted the jacket as "Blasphemy!" Peterson wound up speaking to Hamlin directly but still described the jacket as "disrespectful" before noting that Hamlin had no "ill intent" in choosing the jacket.
On Thursday, Hamlin spoke out about the jacket on Twitter. Hamlin said he spoke to his parents and realized how the jacket could be viewed as offensive, but he saw it as an artist's interpretation of Jesus on the cross.
"After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people," Hamlin tweeted. "It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior! My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have. Matthew 7:1-5."
Hamlin was in attendance at the Super Bowl to help honor the emergency personnel that saved his life on the field in Cincinnati, and he wore a Takashi Murakami jacket that features an altered depiction of Jesus on the cross.
According to TMZ, Peterson saw the jacket and posted a photo of it on social media in which he called out Hamlin for his decision.
"You should be thanking God son!" Peterson wrote. "This is Blasphemy!! We all fall short but cmon man! I find this disrespectful!! #grateful #goddid""
Former NFL running back Fred Taylor immediately jumped to Hamlin's defense, saying Peterson should have contacted Hamlin directly before blowing him up online.
"You should DM him bro...I'm sure he's listen to your opinion," Taylor wrote in the comments. "Posting it doesn't help anyone. He's young, young ppl don't always think before they wear things just like people who wear skulls and other things that doesn't align with Christian beliefs. Try to reach him."
After talking to Hamlin, Peterson posted about the situation on Instagram. Peterson said he felt "offended" by the depiction of Jesus but added that he still had respect for Hamlin.
Drama about the jacket initially blew up when Hamlin posted a video of himself having a moment with Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders before the game. In the comment section, one user came to Hamlin's defense, and he explained the jacket's imagery in a reply.
"someone who gets it!!" Hamlin wrote. "I'd never disrespect my lord & savior. Art is expressed in many ways. I wore the jacket because it's a popular brand that aligns more with God then not. this is a tribute in an artistic way not disrespect. But for those who don't understand that & think otherwise then I apologize."