Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and his brother Tad are responding to Fox Sports commentator Skip Bayless after comments he made in response to the two revealing their emotional struggle after the April sucide death of their brother, Jace.
Bayless, who is known for his over-the-top rhetoric was roundly criticized for making light of depression and suicide when he made his remarks on the FS1 show, Undisputed, essentially saying that because Prescott is at the helm of a major football franchise that he should be above depression.
It started when the Prescott brothers appeared on In Depth with Graham Bensinger, to talk about the pain their family has felt and how their brother’s death has affected them.
“He had a lot of burdens on him,” Prescott said of Jace, who he said never stopped grieving over the death of their mother in 2013. “He had a lot of tough things, and my sense of saying that is it showed me how vulnerable we have to be as humans, how open we have to be.”
But Bayless, saying that although he has sympathy for those with clinical depression, he does not have that sentiment for someone at the helm of a team like the Cowboys.
“Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy for him going public with, ‘I got depressed,’ ‘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,” said Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed.
“The sport that you play, it is dog eat dog,” he continued. “It is no compassion, no quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots and it can definitely encourage others on the other side to come after you.”
But the Prescotts were quick to fire back at Bayless, letting him know how reckless they felt his rhetoric was. In a statement released by the Cowboys’ website, he balked at the notion that leaders could not show vulnerability.
“I don’t think for one second -- leaders or not -- I don’t care how big a person you are, if you are not mentally healthy and you are not thinking the right way, then you are not going to be able to lead people the right way.”
Tad Prescott was more direct:
“I have no words on the comments made by @RealSkipBayless I don’t know the man but the fact so many athletes have publicly shared their dislike for him says it all.”
For their part, Fox Sports issued an apology to the Prescotts and said they do not agree with Bayless commentary.