Sep 10, 2020
Skip Bayless “I Don’t Have Sympathy” for Dak Prescott Transcript
Fox Sports commentator Skip Bayless made what the network called “insensitive comments” about Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, speaking about Prescott’s depression after his brother’s suicide & coronavirus quarantine. He said, “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.'” Read the transcript of Skip Bayless’ comments here.
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Shannon Sharpe: (00:00)
But for him, suicide is something that’s very personal to a family. A lot of times people try to keep that under wraps because of how-
Skip Bayless: (00:12)
Now, if I get this straight, he said he went through this period because of the pandemic in the quarantine before his brother-
Shannon Sharpe: (00:19)
Skip Bayless: (00:19)
Okay, just for the record. He didn’t say he was depressed because his-
Shannon Sharpe: (00:22)
No, no, no, no. He was depressed because, as you mentioned, the quarantine. But he says his brother’s been dealing with things-
Skip Bayless: (00:29)
That’s a whole other … Yeah, okay.
Shannon Sharpe: (00:31)
Right. But I’m saying the reason why I believe Dak is opening up about this is because-
Skip Bayless: (00:36)
Okay, that’s fine.
Shannon Sharpe: (00:37)
… he felt that because his brother never opened up, he never came to grips with what transpired with his mom, because he was home watching what the cancer was doing to her. And he really never opened up about it. In that sense, I don’t want to travel down that road. I want to share with someone what’s going on with me and that I wasn’t in a very good place.
Shannon Sharpe: (00:59)
And I think the thing is, Skip, is that him opening up about it, because we didn’t know, we just thought it was just natural causes, and I guess some people knew, obviously the coroner knew, but that’s information that you’re not getting out and how TMZ wasn’t able to get this information, because they get everything, but for me, Skip, for Dak to share that information, clearly that’s tough.
Shannon Sharpe: (01:20)
They’re a very close family. If I’m not mistaken, Skip, it’s all boys. And I think this was a family affair, because in the commercials that you see Dak, I think Campbell’s Chunky Soups, Skip, is fans, his brothers. And they do a lot of things. They’re all involved in Dak’s affairs. And I can imagine the anguish, the toll that it took on Dak, because man, we’re finally starting to reach that plateau where we’re growing up and thinking about what we’re going to be and how we’re going to do this for mom.
Shannon Sharpe: (01:54)
And here we are finally starting to do this. And it just goes to show you, Skip. You never know what a person’s going through, and no matter how good you might think it is because you look at where Dak is ascending to, and there’s no question that he’s taking care of his brothers, he was dealing with something that money couldn’t, fame, couldn’t get him out of.
Skip Bayless: (02:12)
Shannon Sharpe: (02:13)
And Dak said, “My brother has some issues that he didn’t seem to be willing to open up and share and talk about.” And Dak says, “That’s not something that I want to do. I want to share it. I want to talk about it. I don’t want to be in that dark place anymore.” Because I can imagine, going from COVID to a brother’s suicide, man, Skip, that’s a lot on the young man’s plate.
Skip Bayless: (02:38)
Okay. All well said from you, all very good points. I’m going to disqualify myself right up front on this question. I’m the wrong one to ask about this when it comes to him as the face of that franchise of America’s team. I’m going to ask our audience to feel free to go ahead and condemn me if you choose as cold-blooded and insensitive on this issue. 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?
Shannon Sharpe: (03:20)
Skip Bayless: (03:21)
You are commanding an entire franchise. What’s the roster now? Is at 53 still?
Shannon Sharpe: (03:26)
53, but I think they got 15 practice squad guys.
Skip Bayless: (03:30)
Right, but you’re commanding a lot of young men and some older men. 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. 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. And you know, and I know this sport you play, it is dog eat dog. It is no compassion, no quarter given on the football field. If.
Skip Bayless: (04:12)
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, number four?” That’s the thing. You get sacked, “How did that feel? You getting down about it?” You just can’t go public with it in my humble opinion.
Skip Bayless: (04:40)
So now I got to declare who have I always been? I had a rough childhood, broken home, just soaked with alcohol. I had some really low moments in my childhood and I just kept fighting. I fought through every one of them. I’ve had some low moments professionally where some dark times happen and you’ve been through it too. And you know and I know you just fight.
Skip Bayless: (05:06)
You got to fight back. You can’t give into the depression. You try to rise above it because it’s just how you’re built, it’s how I’m built. I believe it’s how that man is built, rise above it. I got to tell you, it’s been a long time since I was more stunned by quotes than what he told, I think it was Graham Benzinger in the interview, that’s going to air tonight maybe? Yeah.
Shannon Sharpe: (05:29)
I think the thing is, Skip, is that like you always tell me, you like to place yourself in that position.
Skip Bayless: (05:36)
Shannon Sharpe: (05:37)
And you probably wouldn’t have shared what Dak shared.
Skip Bayless: (05:41)
You just can’t, for the good of your franchise and your football team, and in the end, your own psyche.
Shannon Sharpe: (05:47)
What good is that, Skip, if you don’t share it, but you’re dealing with it internally?
Skip Bayless: (05:53)
You just got to. I get what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s better just to get it out.
Shannon Sharpe: (05:58)
Yeah, and that’s what he said.
Skip Bayless: (05:59)
Okay. I just don’t know if you’re the quarterback of America’s team, a team that I think has got a shot to get to this year’s Super Bowl, certainly got a shot to win the division and make the playoffs, which they did not do last year, you can’t go public with that, even though you say, “This could help a lot of people out there who are truly suffering from a clinically diagnosed depression.”
Shannon Sharpe: (06:20)
Skip, I think the thing is that you have to understand, I understand that he plays quarterback, he’s the face of a franchise, but at the end of the day, I’ll take all that away, he’s still human. There’s a human element of this. And sometimes people think because we play this sport, because we’re good at a sport, we don’t have feelings, we don’t have emotions. He’s human. He’s human.
Shannon Sharpe: (06:41)
And think about this. It got so bad, his brother was dealing with something that he took his life. I would rather Dak share. I mean, because we’ve seen athletes take their lives, Skip, because they’re dealing with things and maybe they felt the same way what you’re feeling right now, “Man, I can’t share this. I can’t share this. I can’t deal with this. I don’t want anyone to know what I’m going through.”
Skip Bayless: (07:10)
You can share it internally. You can go see a psychiatrist if you need to. You can get all kinds of counseling. You can share it with some of your closest teammates, call up Zeke, “Let’s go sit and talk it through. I need to let you know what I was feeling,” but we all went through COVID some sort of depression, right?
Shannon Sharpe: (07:29)
But we handle things differently, Skip. Look, I’ll give you a prime example. Okay, you can take boiling water. And now boiling water will harden the egg. It will soften the potato. Water, same thing, boiling. Harden the egg, soften the potato. So you can’t say because one way somebody handled it one way, that’s the right way, someone handled it another way, that’s the wrong way. That’s the wrong way to look at it.
Skip Bayless: (07:57)
Just don’t make me question whether you’re made are the right stuff to stand up to that job because that’s a hard job he’s got.
Shannon Sharpe: (08:03)
For me, Skip, he got there. First of all, you don’t get to where he got without being tough, and losing a parent at the age in which he lost his parent, I believe he made of the right stuff. There’s no question in my mind. I don’t believe, I know he’s made it the right stuff. He’s tough. Skip, you’d be surprised over the things that guys, some of the toughest guys, how they operate behind the scenes. You’ve seen it.
Shannon Sharpe: (08:34)
Some guys like to read, some guys like to do a lot of different things that you’re like, “That big old tough joker. He’s like that?” Hey, at the end of the day, get the job done. I don’t have a problem with that. I mean, and some people, Skip, might look at it like you, that you being this, you being that. And I think, Skip, I think what has happened, athletes are getting and more comfortable telling that they’re dealing with things.
Skip Bayless: (08:58)
I got that.
Shannon Sharpe: (08:58)
Hey, you mentioned, growing up, when you first started coming, they would’ve never shared this. When I first got in the league, as you mentioned, guys would’ve … I think now, Skip, we’re at a different time now, because you’re absolutely right. If he had said that in the ’90s-
Skip Bayless: (09:18)
I get, you can argue it takes more of a man to go public with that. I get that. There’s just this fine line between you played that position for that team, and you’re responsible for the psyches of 53 plus your whole front office and coaching staff. They’re all looking to you to lead them. And I don’t know. Look, if he said, “I got really depressed and down after the suicide of my brother,” I got you. But he was talking about when the pandemic first hit. Well, did you have some dark days when the pandemic first hit?
Shannon Sharpe: (09:52)
For me, Skip, I’m a guy who stay home all the time anyway, so it didn’t really do anything. I just get on the highway and just drive and go somewhere.
Skip Bayless: (09:58)
Well, I’ll be the first to admit, there are a few days in there where I thought, “I’m not sure this network is going to survive this.”
Shannon Sharpe: (10:02)
Skip Bayless: (10:03)
Did we miss a day? We did not miss a day.
Shannon Sharpe: (10:05)
Skip Bayless: (10:06)
You were coming over to my place and we were trying to do the show as best we could.
Shannon Sharpe: (10:08)
The best we could, yes.
Skip Bayless: (10:09)
Throw it together, right?
Shannon Sharpe: (10:10)
Skip Bayless: (10:11)
Because you got to keep fighting, right? You can’t give in to it.
Shannon Sharpe: (10:14)
Yeah, Skip, but I think there was a big stigma and it starting to be lit, especially as a black man in America and talking about mental illness. And I think a lot of black men deal with things, and because they don’t want the shame, because they’re going to be looked at as weak. And like I said, I don’t look at it as being weak because I believe you can be weak and not be vulnerable. I also believe you can be vulnerable and not be weak.
Shannon Sharpe: (10:38)
So we got to get out of the way of that, Skip. I just think the thing is the way he handled it was the way. And I try my best, and I used to do this all the time, “Man, I wouldn’t have handled like that.” But unless you’re under the exact situation, it’s hard to say how you would or wouldn’t handle a situation.
Skip Bayless: (10:54)
Yep, I agree. So I reiterate, I’m probably the wrong one to ask about this, and I could be completely wrong about this, but I stand by what I believe. This is the way I view what he’s talking about.
Shannon Sharpe: (11:07)