Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin took to social media Wednesday to apologize for his choice of jacket at a ceremony before the Super Bowl. The jacket, which featured Christian imagery, provoked people online to accuse the player of promoting blasphemy.

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“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people,” Hamlin tweeted Wednesday. “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.”

Hamlin, who is still recovering from the cardiac event he suffered on the field in a game against the Bengals, joined medical personnel and first responders in an honorary ceremony before the Super Bowl. He was wearing a denim jacket with an abstract image of Jesus below the word “Eternal” on the back.

Many Christian Twitter users criticized Hamlin’s wardrobe choice, arguing that the design was mocking their religion because of its abstract nature. Hamlin argued that he didn’t wear the jacket for those reasons, and instead viewed it as an artistically appealing item, but nevertheless apologized for offending people.

In the weeks following his on-field incident, Hamlin’s toy drive, a fundraiser for children impacted by the pandemic, raised more than $9 million, far surpassing his original $2,500 goal. To recognize his charitable efforts and personal efforts in overcoming adversity, the NFL gave Hamlin the 2023 Alan Page Community Award at a ceremony on Feb. 8.

“Being recognized for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award is humbling and a dream come true,” Hamlin said in his acceptance speech. “I’m humbled to even be mentioned amongst those guys. I’ve always wanted to impact my community and show that it’s possible to do great things. With this award, we’ll be able to impact even more people and keep this mission going.”

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