Any contact sport carries a risk of danger. We saw it live on TV Monday night when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed seconds after a tackle against Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.
This is the kind of scene that is embedded in our memories.
In 1971, Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes suffered a heart attack during a game against the Chicago Bears at Tiger Stadium.
Hughes was running back to his home huddle in the final moments of the game when he collapsed to the ground.
Famed Bears linebacker Dick Butkus, now a member of the American Pro Football Hall of Fame, immediately signaled for rescuers.
Hughes died in hospital shortly after admission.
Lawsuit against the hospital
An autopsy revealed that he died of undiagnosed advanced atherosclerosis. However, he too was tackled hard in this encounter by Butkus, who was renowned for applying violent tackles.
Hughes' widow filed a $21.1 million lawsuit against Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for failing to diagnose his condition when he had been hospitalized there earlier for chest pain.
In hockey, former defenseman Chris Pronger suffered what Damar Hamlin may have suffered — a concussion.
Pronger was playing for the St. Louis Blues in a playoff game in 1998 when he was hit in the chest by a slapshot from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Dmitri Mironov. His heart began to cavort.
When he woke up on the ice, he saw the face of his teammate Al MacInnis, hunched over him in a bright light. He found a way to laugh at his misadventure, saying, “I thought to myself, 'My God, the people of St. Louis are right. Al MacInnis is God!” »