Footballer (/soccer player) Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field due to a Cardiac arrest at Euro 2021 a few days back. I’m happy to hear he has since recovered.
I wasn’t watching the match live. So, I learnt about it after it happened and saw some of the footage/reactions. 4 events that stood out:
(1) His teammates formed a huddle around him to shield him and the crowd from witnessing the moment of his then likely death. What an incredible gesture.
(2) Inexplicably, UEFA made the decision to let play continue. Even if they asked the players for their view, I’m not sure the players could/would have been in a fit mental state to continue. It is similar to asking someone suffering from concussion if they want to play. Another example of how often we underestimate the impact of mental health.
(3) Anti-vaxxers decide to use the moment to further their cause. They claimed Eriksen’s cardiac arrest was caused by the vaccine. His club team later shared he hadn’t been vaccinated as yet. Another fascinating mini episode in the long-running series on human behavior.
(4) Moments like this always serve as a reminder of the fragility of our lives. Here was an incredibly fit and talented 29 year old football star who nearly lost his life on the job.
As Gabe Marcotti, a writer on ESPN, nicely put it – “Sports, career, money … it all crumbles to dust when faced with what really matters: life.”