Who is Takashi Murakami? Travis Jesus symbolism and meaning explored as Damar Hamlin jacket designer comes under fire

Damar Hamlin comes under fire for Takashi Murakami jacket (Image via Xx17965797N/Twitter)
Damar Hamlin comes under fire for Takashi Murakami jacket (Image via Xx17965797N/Twitter)

During this year’s Super Bowl, athlete Damar Hamlin and several groups of medical staff were presented with a tributary award. However, netizens were more interested in the letterman jacket Hamlin was wearing. It has reportedly been designed by Takashi Murakami. Due to the clothing piece’s controversial symbolism, netizens expressed disappointment online.

Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals last month. His heart reportedly stopped beating until it was restored by medical staff. During this year’s NFL, they recognized medical personnel from the Cincinnati Bengals, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and the athlete himself.

The Buffalo Bills safety took to the stage to “thank God for even being here.”

Damar Hamlin was wearing a green and blue jacket with a crucifix-styled symbol on the back. The word “eternal” was also seen on the back of the jacket just above a figure of the cross, whose face looked distressed and spooky.

Other words on the jacket included- “saint youth” and “without end and without beginning there is no day and no night.”

Netizen reveals the symbolic meaning behind Damar Hamlin’s jacket as athlete comes under fire

Internet users were enraged by the clothing piece, as it seemed “satanic.” Twitter user Xx17965797N went viral after revealing that the Takashi Murakami jacket was titled “Travis Jesus.” As per the netizen, the piece reportedly referred to Travis Scott’s “satanic ritual” at Astroworld, where multiple people were killed in a stampede.

The platform user also revealed that Scott took inspiration from the jacket to create a “rhinestone encrusted pendant.” The clothing piece in question is $3,150.

Internet users were displeased with the athlete wearing the jacket. Damar Hamlin was quick to amass backlash online. A few reactions read:

However, it is important to note that the jacket was created ahead of the Astroworld tragedy.

Former NFL star Adrian Peterson also slammed Damar Hamlin for the choice of clothing attire. Peterson wrote online:

“You should be thanking God son! This is Blasphemy!! We all fall short but cmon man! I find this disrespectful!! #grateful #goddid.”

Who is Takashi Murakami, the designer of the Travis Jesus jacket?

Takashi Murakami is a celebrated Japanese artist and entrepreneur. He is best known for adapting the aesthetics of traditional Japanese art into a pop culture context. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. The 61-year-old also acquired a PhD in 1993.

The artist, who has been compared to Andy Warhol, engages in commercial art like fashion, animation, and merchandise along with artistic arts like paintings and sculptures.

The applauded artist is also the founder and president of Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., a management company that oversees rising artists and performers. He also founded Geisai, a biennial art fair.

Murakami made his European debut in 1995 at the 46th Venice Biennale with his TransCulture exhibition. His 2002 Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art exhibition was also critically acclaimed.


In 2013, the artist released his first feature film, Mememe no kurage, in Japan. He has collaborated with high-profile celebrities like Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Travis Scott, J Balvin, and Virgil Abloh, amongst others.

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Edited by Karishma Rao