Earlier this week the Cowboys Quarterback, Dak Prescott, revealed some personal feelings that took place earlier this year. Prescott revealed that his brother Jace died of suicide back in April. He also talked about his own personal demons that he is battling, including depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the passing of his brother. I commend Dak for speaking up and getting vulnerable. I am one, who has battled depression, and know the worst thing to do with those feelings is to bottle them up inside. Many praised and offered support to Dak. The "Undisputed" Host and sports personality, Skip Bayless, had other thoughts. Instead of offering condolences and support, he implied that 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? 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.”
Skips' comments were careless and inappropriate. This week is "National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week". To make these statements, during this week let alone in general, is just classless.
I lost a lot of respect for Skip Bayless. He has always been opinionated and entertaining but comments like this show true colors. I hope he never has these types of emotions and feelings. I would never wish depression and anxiety on my worst enemies. The feelings that develop with these mental diseases are horrifying. It could be a beautiful day and you have no motivation to leave your room, to eat, to be yourself.
My message to Skip would be to apologize. Not only to Dak Prescott but to all of your viewers. Many people escape the battle with depression with sports. You are a global sports icon. Many of your own listeners probably are in the same boat as Dak. Skip should also educate himself. There are many other prominent sports figures who have suffered depression. Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, the list goes on. Everyone is human. People's emotional strengths vary. Just because they may be a leader, or maybe financially secure, does not give them the freedom to not have these feelings. Skip should read what others have to say, hear from a direct source or medical professional, and become an ally for those who are losing hope and wanting to give up.
We can all agree 2020 sucked. It’s more important than ever that we be there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. You don’t have to be a mental health professional to make a difference. There are simple things we can all do to safeguard our mental health, and you don’t have to do it alone. For those who are battling depression, you are not alone in this fight. Surround yourself with loved ones and don't keep things to yourself. If you don't have that ability, here are some hotlines you can call and talk with someone. #KeepGoing
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255