Fox Sports Dings Skip Bayless for Belittling Cowboys QB's Depression — Bayless Responds With Non-Apology

Fox Sports has taken Undisputed co-host Skip Bayless to task for belittling Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s recently disclosed bout of depression, stemming from his older brother Jace’s suicide.

In a recent interview with “In Depth With Graham Bensinger,” Dak and his other brother Tad revealed that the cause of 31-year-old Jace’s April death was suicide, noting that their mother’s battle with colon cancer, which ended her life in 2013, took a heavy toll on Jace. All told, the experience “showed me how vulnerable we have to be as humans,” Dak shared. “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.”

Bayless — on Thursday, which was World Suicide Prevention Day, no less — opined on Undisputed (see video above), “When it comes to the quarterback of a NFL team… it’s the ultimate leadership position in sports…. You are commanding an entire NFL 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 [Dak Prescott] going public with ‘I got depressed, I suffered depression early in COVID, to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’

“He’s the quarterback of America’s Team, and … this sport that you play, it is dog-eat-dog,” Bayless continued. “If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots, and it definitely can encourage others on the other side to come after you. You throw an interception, you’re going to hear, ‘You depressed, No. 4?’ …. You just can’t go public with it, in my humble opinion.”

Fox Sports in turn released a statement about Bayless’ “humble opinion,” saying, “[W]e 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. We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion on Undisputed….. 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.”

UPDATE: On Friday’s Undisputed, Bayless did not apologize in any form, but labored to qualify the POV he expressed. “As I strongly stated, I have great compassion for anyone suffering clinical depression, which is very real,” he said. “If you are suffering from any form of depression, please… seek… help. This is the final point, one I’m told was misconstrued by many: The only Dak depression I addressed… was from an interview he taped with Graham Bensinger. Dak said that depression happened soon after the pandemic hit…. I said yesterday that if Dak needed help for pandemic depression, he should have sought counseling then.”

Prescott himself reacted to Bayless’ original statement by saying the commentator was describing “a fake leader”:

Prescott’s brother Tad, meanwhile, tweeted, “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.”

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)