Winter 2022 magazine

Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton credits 'nobody but God' in return from burn accident

Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly for Antonio Hamilton, a 29-year-old cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals. His play was so impressive during training camp in the lead-up to the season that head coach Kliff Kingsbury named him a starter for the first time in the seventh-year vet’s professional career.

Yet just as his hard work was about to pay off, it all came to a screeching halt.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

On the night of Aug. 29, Hamilton was cooking shrimp, something he’d done countless times before, preparing for a quiet night at home with his wife, Tiara, and his two daughters. Suddenly, the pot burst into flames. With the smoke detector shrieking, the fire growing ever more fierce and his family in harm’s way, Hamilton grabbed the pot and headed for the exit.

However, flames from the pot blew into his face, causing Hamilton to drop the pot onto his legs and feet, resulting in second-degree burns. What happened next, he attributes only to God.

E3

Ad

“It’s kind of crazy … [grease fires] just don’t go out and you can’t throw water on it. But I do recall as I dropped the pot, I felt a gush of wind blow on me. It was nobody but God,” Hamilton said, according to ArizonaSports.com, after making his season debut on Sunday. “In my mind, I had to go through this for something. I met some people and had conversations with people that I wouldn’t have had had I not burned my feet or sustained any of these injuries.”

“It was supposed to be just a beacon of light just to continue to show people what it is to stand strong in your faith no matter what the situation looks like, because in a blink of an eye everything can be gone like that,” he added. “It’s up to you to choose how you handle it.”

Hamilton’s first game back in the Cardinals’ lineup ended in a 20-17 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He recorded one tackle in the game on 16 defensive and 15 special teams snaps. Yet getting back on the field on Sunday was only the next step for Hamilton in what has been an incredible journey of perseverance in faith.

Tiara — who is expecting the couple’s third child in early December — documented her husband’s journey with an inspiring and faith-filled Instagram post last Friday. WARNING: The following post contains graphic burn images.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tiara J 🌻 (@teajayybee)

“These past two months have been the hardest on our family but we thank God for the miracles,” Tiara’s post read in part. “Antonio you’ve overcome so much and I am in awe of your strength to keep pushing through and I’m thankful that God allowed you to still be here with us.”

Antonio has also been active on social media, sharing with the world his injuries and seeking to point people to God. He lists God as his first priority in his Twitter bio, and he paraphrases the Bible verses Romans 12:19 and Galatians 6:9 in his Instagram bio.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Antonio Hamilton (@broham1993)


“[Playing in Sunday’s game] was overwhelming,” Hamilton told ArizonaSports.com after the Eagles game. “I was going through a lot of emotions. Was just trying to stay under control and trying not to get too high. But as soon as I stepped out onto that field it all just oozed out.

“Just going through my mind right now, I’m just thankful. I have a lot of gratitude. … I’m just thankful to get back. It could have been worse. My family could have been hurt from that situation. … If that would have been my wife and kids, I don’t know what I would have done or how it would have impacted me.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Antonio Hamilton (@broham1993)


Hamilton hopes for an increased defensive role this Sunday against the Seahawks (2-3) as the Cardinals (2-3) seek to slowly re-incorporate him into their defensive schemes. The game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.

RELATED STORIES:
NFL’s Godwin Igwebuike shares story of faith, ‘unquantifiable’ odds in mini-doc
Eagles WR A.J. Brown among leading receivers as he seeks to ‘play for God’
WATCH: ‘I ONCE WAS’ – NFL Quarterback Nick Foles
Former Cardinals chaplain Anthony Edwards running for city council in hometown
Cardinals DL Michael Dogbe gets baptized, ‘thankful for God’s presence’ in his life