Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was moved to tears in a stirring moment Wednesday at The ESPYS in Los Angeles when he introduced the team training staff that saved his life after he went into cardiac arrest during a game in Cincinnati in January. He has since recovered and plans to play this fall.
After wiping away the tears, Hamlin introduced the staff, which received the Pat Tillman Award for Service.
The staff was greeted by a standing ovation. They huddled around Hamlin on stage, hugging him and patting his back. With his back to the audience, Hamlin bent his head and appeared to break down.
"Damar, first and foremost, thank you for staying alive, brother," said Nate Breske, head trainer for the Bills.
"We're not used to having the spotlight on us. We were just doing our job, but the idea of service is definitely something that is engrained in our profession and that we take great pride in," he told the audience.
Breske urged support for funding for automated external defibrillators and CPR training, especially in underserved communities, as well as for athletic trainers in youth sports.
"Learn CPR and how to use an AED because they save lives," he said.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was honored as best men's sports athlete, while skier Mikaela Shiffrin received the women's sports honor.
Mahomes has won two Super Bowls in his five seasons and was named MVP of the game each time, including this past February. He turns 28 in September.
"It was an incredible season. There was many ups, many downs," Mahomes said. "I appreciate my teammates, my coaches, the guys that are here. I go back to camp next Tuesday, so this is a great award. But we're going to do this thing again, we're going to keep this thing rolling."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.