September 11, 2020

"Yeah, Skip, but I think there was a big stigma... 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."

Said Shannon Sharpe to Skip Bayless, who — criticizing Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott for going public about his depression — said (transcript):
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. 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 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.... 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....
For context, see "Fox Sports condemns Skip Bayless’ comments criticizing Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott for speaking about his battle with depression" (Chicago Tribune).

58 comments:

BarrySanders20 said...

It's not only black men, though. Look at the rate of suicide for men (all) vs women (all) in America.

Roger Sweeny said...

Dak Prescott signed a contract paying him over $30 million a year to be the Dallas quarterback. Did he know at the time he was subject to depression? Did he tell the team during negotiations?

MayBee said...

I think sports commentators just need to take a couple weeks off from commentating.

Harsh Pencil said...

Yes, yes, correlation is not causation, but ...

a) There used to be much more public shame associated with mental illness.

b) There used to be much less mental illness (according to pretty good surveys).

GatorNavy said...

Skip Bayless is another nail in the coffin of sports entertainment

Wince said...

I don't recognize the names of any of these football players.

It sounds like what I think of as dialogue from The Kardashians.

The NFL becoming as tuned-out to me as The Kardashians?

Just one more reason for the NFL to loose audience share.

daskol said...

Well put by Sharpe. I have always preferred Rick to Skip among the Bayless Brothers, Rick being the great cultural appropriator of Mexican cuisine.

Howard said...

Shame is weak, vulnerable. Deal with reality head on, Skeeeup

JAORE said...

I think sports commentators just need to take a couple weeks off from commentating.

Make that an average of two weeks per sports commentator. Have all but Skip take off one week. Then let Bayless make up the lost ground.

He's been a putz for years upon years.

I'm not watching any pro sports right now. I've been turning off Bayless for a long time. Usually about 45 seconds into his pearls of wisdom.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Hot take! Sports media is just slightly less corrupt than political media. I saw an ESPN headline yesterday saying Monday Night Football is not going to shy away from the BLM activities. Shy away?! Are you kidding?! They promote it; they are the primary reason for the movement's existence. Sports media, that is, not MNF in particular. There are way too many sports shows and sports commentators and that's how someone who knows better than Skip Bayless can get that deranged of a take on the Dak disclosures. He's selling his soul for a couple of ratings points.

Carol said...

Oh jesus why do people go public with their problems like this. A guy I know did this locally, on Facebook, and right away I wondered "did I make this worse?" which is crazy when I think of how insignificant I am in his life.

It's just exhibitionism, that burdens other people unnecessarily.

Fernandinande said...

as a black man in America

He mulatto, so that's two posts in a row about a male mulatto with psych problems. Who'da thunk it?

DanTheMan said...

Maybe if they spent more time talking about sports, and less time talking about politics and race, this wouldn't happen?

Skip will issue a groveling apology, but it probably won't be enough to save him.

Nonapod said...

the suicide of one of his brothers by suicide

Somebody contact the Department of Redundancy Department.

Narr said...

The psychological problems of overgrown, overpaid, overprivileged, and WAY overadmired children.

Narr
Not the brightest children, either

rehajm said...

I think sports commentators just need to take a couple weeks off from commentating.

I'd like to see them go back to their lane and commentate on sports. Go find Sage Steele and listen to her proclamation to stick to the sports.

Mary Beth said...

You can be depressed and still do your job, especially one where there is structure, rules, and a clear objective.

The statement "Look, if he said, “I got really depressed and down after the suicide of my brother,” I got you." shows a lack of understanding about depression. It's not necessarily a reaction to an outside event. (I'm thinking Prescott was depressed before but was able to avoid thinking about it until the lockdowns.)

mezzrow said...

I have always preferred Rick to Skip among the Bayless Brothers, Rick being the great cultural appropriator of Mexican cuisine.

This. I've always wondered how Skip could make a very good living out of such consistently bad takes. Life's a mystery.

bbear said...

Reminds me of Ditka's comment once upon a time about sports writers in general: "Will someone please tell me what these guys know about anything." I think it was Ditka; coulda been Parcels...

Christy said...

Wasn't Lincoln notoriously subject to depression? Is this that falsification thingy about the theory of depression disqualifying one from an "ultimate leadership position?"

Krumhorn said...

Howard depresses me, but you don’t hear me mewling about it. I just soldier on.

- Krumhorn

Earnest Prole said...

Speaking of weakness, what’s up with a grown man calling himself “Skip”?

mockturtle said...

Churchill suffered from depression.

phwest said...

Is what Prescott is describing really depression? What I think of as depression (my mom suffered from it) doesn't require any particular event to trigger it, it just is. This just feels like another case of medicalizing normal emotions. At most this kind of emotional stress is the psychological equivalent of the common cold. You get stressed about something, it distracts you from your normal routine for a few days, and you get over it.

I don't really care that Prescott wanted to talk about it, it's common enough to want to talk about various issues in your life, and modern celebrity encourages sharing this kind of stuff with your fans. I just don't get why anyone else cares about it.

By comparison, the Eagles have an all-pro guard, Brandon Brooks, who suffers from severe anxiety disorder, to the point that he has been unable to play games at times. It's been interesting listening to fans come to grips with the fact that this is actually a medical issue, just like a chronic physical vulnerability that can take a player out without much warning. Plenty of fans don't get it (the same type of fan who doesn't understand you can be physically unable to play due to injury while still capable of walking around "normally"). But the organization has done its best to frame the issue as a genuine medical problem, with a treatment plan and so on, so most people understand it better. Brooks is a much better example, in all ways, of what Sharpe is talking about. But he's a lineman, so no one outside of Philly knows or cares.

Skeptical Voter said...

You can be depressed--and quiet--and still get the job done. A pro quarterback leads with his arm--and not necessarily his mouth. I don't think there's anything wrong with a person acknowledging that he or she suffers from depression.

As for leadership styles--compare Admiral Spruance--quiet, didn't talk much--but got the job done with Admiral Bull Halsey--noisy, erratic, gave lots of good press qoutes and sorta got the job done. Quarterbacks--Tom Brady--mostly quiet and got the job done; Phil Rivers, with equal physical skills and a world champion trash talker on the football field. Love Phil Rivers--but his teams never got to the Super Bowl.

Drago said...

phwest: "Is what Prescott is describing really depression?"

It better be. The Cowboys haven't won a Super Bowl in 25 years.

Drago said...

GatorNavy: "Skip Bayless is another nail in the coffin of sports entertainment"

Between Skip Bayless, Steven A and some of the others over at ESPN, its easy to see why so many people are disconnecting from ESPN.

Drago said...

mockturtle: "Churchill suffered from depression."

Mostly when he ran out of enemies to vanquish.

"There's gotta be somebody that needs some killin'......"
"I'm sorry Major. There's no one left. You killed them all."


exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I no longer care about any news related to the NFL or its' players.

Jupiter said...

Something about "heat" and "the kitchen".

Fernandinande said...

looked at as weak

Any illness is also a weakness.

wild chicken said...

"There used to be much less mental illness (according to pretty good surveys)."

Just going by SS disability claims, yes, there is more mental illness since the 1980s. Do either people are sicker now, or there's a lot of malingering going on.

Pro tip: a friend said her lawyer told her "mental" is an easier claim to win on.

Tom T. said...

This is the same thing that was done to Drew Brees: "Am NFL player is not an individual and must only make statements approved by the collective." It's destructive and disgusting. Especially as to young Black men, Prescott is doing a service by modeling the idea that one can deal with life and the bad things that happen without having to pretend to have no feelings.

PM said...

Bayless is a diehard Cowboy fan and a big Dak cheerleader. To him, a Cowboy can show no weakness. Silly. As far as a "spokesman" for black men, esp black athletes, Shannon Sharp is as good as anyone and nearly as funny as Sir Charles.

daskol said...

Winston Churchill, besides Lincoln, is another great leader who suffered from serious depression. Skip would appear to be indicting the macho patriarchal culture of pro sports, its toxic masculinity. Had no idea he was so woke.

Sebastian said...

"Yeah, Skip, but I think there was a big stigma... especially as a black man in America and talking about mental illness. And I think a lot of black men deal with things."

OK, now do mismatched black students.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Teammates are your friends and brothers, first and foremost, and *all* of them would show tremendous caring and empathy for one of their own who suffered a tragic loss in their family like that.

This is not even a close call. Bayless has been a sportswriter for decades and doesn't know this?!

William said...

When you're wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, you should not visit the homeless shelter, tell the residents how hard it is to get good servants and then complain about their lack of sympathy for your plight.....He has a thirty million dollar contract, good health, outstanding athletic ability, good looks, and just about all the blessings that life can deliver. I can understand how even with all these blessings he can feel depressed, but he, in turn, should understand that not everyone in the world will be empathetic.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Andrea's denunciation of Barney's criticism of Clara's comments about Daryl's remarks concerning what Evelyn said regarding Frank's revelation.

Ho-hum.

JaimeRoberto said...

Mental illness has been stigmatized for everyone. If there is a special stigma for black men regarding mental illness, it's coming from their own community.

And I had no idea that Skip and Rick are brothers.

Leland said...

Good on Shannon Sharpe. If I consider Dak an object, the QB for the Cowboys, then I can understand Skip's comments; but Dak's discussion of depression was beyond the game. The thing is, sports commentary used to be about what happened on the field, which allowed sports to be an escape from other things that are depressing to any of us. Alas, commentators have felt the need to include things that occur off the field; and they do so at their peril.

William said...

If you were truly depressed, would hearing about this man and his struggles give you any relief? Or would hearing about this man with access to all the toys and diversions our civilization further cement your opinion that life is a futile, pointless struggle. I can see how announcing his depression diminishes the stigma of mental illness but doesn't it also lend credence to the tale told by an idiot point of view.

DanTheMan said...

>>Reminds me of Ditka's comment once upon a time about sports writers in general: "Will someone please tell me what these guys know about anything."

I always like John McKay's take: "Most sports reporters couldn't tell the difference between a good quarterback and a banana stand."

Likely still true.

DanTheMan said...

>>Reminds me of Ditka's comment once upon a time about sports writers in general: "Will someone please tell me what these guys know about anything."

I always like John McKay's take: "Most sports reporters couldn't tell the difference between a good quarterback and a banana stand."

Likely still true.

rcocean said...

Nobody wants to hear about your mental illness when you're a star QB. women are really into that. Men sports fans are not. Just shoot pool fast Eddie.

lgv said...

Well, like a broken clock, Skip Bayless is right twice a day. This wasn't one of the the two times his words were on target.

One only needs to have listened to Bayless for many years to know how awful his opinions can be. He's the ultimate provocateur in sports talk. Long time Dallasites are amazed any time he gets hired. It is best to just ignore him, otherwise you end up wasting energy hating him.

Browndog said...

There's "depressions" that inflicts all of humanity, then there is "black Depression" that is separate and apart from all others.

How special.

Temujin said...

We're all different. Dak came out and spoke about what he felt. Who is to say that's wrong? It's Dak's life, and no one else's. He's going through what he's going through. Who the hell is Skip Bayless to even comment on it? Shannon Sharpe is right on this.

And honestly- not one of you, or them, know what the relationship is between the quarterback of an NFL team and the rest of his team. But I can bet that his team is 100% behind him and they don't view him as soft. They've seen him do too much to think that. In the end, he's still the team leader.

But then, I'm a Lions fan so what do I really know about football anyway, huh?

rcocean said...

Fox News and all the other Media need to being PC enforcers and telling their talk show hosts what to say and think. The conformity and robotic mindset in sports talk radio is killing it. But social justice is what people want, I suppose.

mockturtle said...

But then, I'm a Lions fan so what do I really know about football anyway, huh?
Sad but true, Temujin.

AllenS said...

Coach: "Dak, you should not have thrown the ball, it was intercepted."

Dak: "Come on, man, I felt depressed."

End of conversation.

Mary Beth said...

There is a video of an interesting lecture on depression by Robert Sapolsky. I highly recommend watching it. If you're interested in behavioral biology, I also recommend the whole series of his Stanford lectures.

Phil 314 said...

As a Broncos fan I love Shannon Sharpe but he never knows when to shut up.

Night said...

Talking about depression symptoms and work helps other people with depression. Until everyone talks about it then it just gets depressing.

Night said...

Fernandinande said...
as a black man in America

He mulatto, so that's two posts in a row about a male mulatto with psych problems. Who'da thunk it?


Mullatto doesn't mean anything in modern society. It just points to a rigid perception that one has latched onto. One that might have functioned decades ago but now is never found.

Night said...

Are there symptoms for depression? Like not laughing. Disconnecting from friends and family, hobbies forgotten. Sleep schedules disrupted?

Does a person solve this themselves or does someone help them?

Josephbleau said...

“the suicide of one of his brothers by suicide”

A suicide as tragic as a small suicide.

tim in vermont said...

Remember that scene in Bull Durham where Crash schools the pitcher on how to talk to the press after he was honest in his first interview?

“Ya gotta learn your cliches."

https://youtu.be/KeVca9MwDX8