One day after Dak Prescott opened up about his older brother’s suicide, Fox Sports host Skip Bayless said he had no sympathy for the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, implying his vulnerability hinders his leadership abilities.
“I have deep compassion for clinical depression, but when it comes to the quarterback of an NFL team, you know this better than I do, it’s the ultimate leadership position in sports, am I right about that?” Bayless said on Thursday.
“You are commanding an entire franchise … And 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.”
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On Friday, Fox Sports released a statement condemning Bayless and lauding Prescott’s “tremendous courage”.
“At Fox Sports, we are proud of Dak Prescott for publicly revealing his struggle with depression and mental health. 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,” the statement read.
“We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion 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.”
On Wednesday, Prescott revealed on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that his older brother, Jace, took his own life this year and how emotionally draining the experience was. The Cowboys star said he is now imploring others to open up about their struggles, adding “it showed me how vulnerable we have to be as humans.”
“I got the help I needed, and I was very open about it … emotions can overcome you if you don’t do something about it,” Prescott told reporters.
“Mental health is a huge issue and it’s a real thing in our world right now, especially the world we live in where everything is as viral and everyone is part of the media, I guess you can say, and can get on social media and be overcome with emotions or be overcome with the thoughts of other people and allow that to fill into their heads when those things aren’t necessarily true, whether it’s getting likes on Instagram or something being viewed or being bullied or whatever it may be. All of those things can put thoughts into your head about yourself or about your situation in life that aren’t true. I think that it’s huge. I think it’s huge to talk, I think it’s huge to get help and it saves lives.”
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The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Prescott, a two time Pro Bowler, in March worth AU$43 million for the 2020 season. The 27-year-old is coming off a season in which he set career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30).
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission