1:05 PM PT — A rep in Hamlin’s inner circle released a statement to TMZ Sports … calling Peterson hypocritical for being critical of Damar’s jacket, given his past issues.
“Adrian Peterson has apologized several times to Damar and chose to keep his post up.” the statement read. “He knows the public controversy he caused but only chose to take his words back privately. Adrian has had controversial situations around his name and understands what it’s like to be an athlete with a huge platform, so the hypocrisy in this situation is disappointing.”
The statement added Damar is a man of faith and the criticism surrounding the jacket does not change that … but he will learn and work on understanding everyone’s views and beliefs.
“He will continue to use his platform to spread positivity and give back.”
Damar Hamlin is breaking his silence on his controversial Super Bowl jacket … saying he never meant to offend anybody by wearing it — and calling it simply “abstract art.”
Hamlin rocked the coat — which featured a crucifix with an altered Jesus head on it — to the Chiefs vs. Eagles game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. — and a day later, Adrian Peterson ripped him for it.
The future Hall of Famer called it blasphemous and disrespectful. He said he later spoke to Hamlin to explain his opinion.
The 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety finally opened up about the situation on his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon … saying he had absolutely no intent to disrespect anybody with outfit choice.
“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people,” Hamlin wrote.
Damar Hamlin makes appearance on field at Super Bowlpic.twitter.com/0kBL4LH13V
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“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!”
He added, “My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images.”
The NFL player, who’s still on the mend after going into cardiac arrest during a “Monday Night Football” game last month, then promised to learn from it all.
“[I will] continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have,” he said.