Many talking heads on sports talk shows can say some pretty ridiculous things on air. Sometimes, giving a crazy take about a topic can then potentially bring more viewers to their shows. However, Skip Bayless recently took one too far. He did so when discussing Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, and how he spoke out about suffering from depression earlier this year. Many have since called Bayless out, criticizing him for making the comments he did. This includes people who work for his former employer — ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams.
Skip Bayless made controversial comments about Dak Prescott
In a recent interview with Graham Bensinger, Prescott revealed that he suffered from depression earlier this year.
“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said, according to Yahoo. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression.”
Prescott’s brother, Jace Prescott, died by suicide in April.
Shortly after Prescott’s interview with Bensinger, Bayless made these controversial comments on his show, Undisputed.
“You are commanding an entire franchise,” Bayless said, according to Yahoo. “They’re all looking to you to be their CEO, to be in charge of the football team. Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy for him going public with, ‘I got depressed’ and ‘I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’ Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s team.”
Bayless’ comments have since been met with criticism from all throughout the country.
ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams blasted Skip Bayless
Like many people have done since Bayless made his comments, ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams both blasted Bayless on their show, Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin, which also stars Zubin Mehenti.
“When people say things like, ‘This shows weakness, from a leadership perspective,’ I want to reach through the microphone, reach through the TV, and slap the hell out of them,” Williams said. “This is not weakness at all. This is a different level of strength.”
Johnson then followed Williams by saying this.
“You’re weak because you have anxiety and you’re fighting depression? You’re weak because of that? So, now you’re not a leader in the huddle? You’re not winning games because you’re weak? … I was talking to some colleagues yesterday about the situation with Dak and how it should be handled on his side,” Johnson said. “If I’m Dak Prescott, I’m going to have something with that particular network, I’m going to have some conversations with them about them being able to talk to me until something happens to that individual.”
He addressed his comments on ‘Undisputed’
After Bayless’ comments, Fox Sports put out a statement.
“At Fox Sports, we are proud of Dak Prescott for publicly revealing his struggle with depression and mental health,” the statement read, according to Yahoo. “No matter the cause of the struggle, Fox Sports believes Dak showed tremendous courage which is evident in both his leadership on the Dallas Cowboys and in his character off the field.”
It also said this: “We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion on Undisputed this morning. We have addressed the significance of this matter with Skip and how his insensitive comments were received by people internally at Fox Sports and our audience.”
The next day, Bayless addressed his comments on Undisputed.
“I want to reiterate some points I made yesterday on the show about Dak Prescott and the depression he discussed. As I strongly stated, I have great compassion for anyone suffering clinical depression, which is very real,” Bayless said, according to Yahoo. “If you are suffering from any point of depression, please seek help.”
“And this is the final point, one I’m told was misconstrued by many, the only Dak depression I addressed on yesterday’s show was from an interview he taped with Graham Bensinger. Dak said that depression happened soon after the pandemic hit, early in the quarantine. I said yesterday that if Dak needed help for pandemic depression, he should have sought counseling then,” Bayless said, according to Yahoo. “And again, if you are suffering from any form of depression, please seek help.”
It doesn’t appear that Fox is looking into handing down any sort of punishment to Bayless, but maybe they still will.
How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.