Skip Bayless apologizes for tweet on injured Bills’ player Damar Hamlin that triggered outrage

Shock, heartbreak and outrage spread rapidly Monday night after the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin suddenly collapsed on field before being rushed to the hospital via ambulance as millions united in prayer. His mother was at the game and traveled with him to the hospital.

The Bills were facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium for the NFL’s Monday Night Football game when the 24-year-old safety in his second season tackled wide receiver Tamaurice “Tee” Higgins in what appeared to be a routine play. However, when Hamlin rose to his feet, the young man appeared to wobble slightly before collapsing backward onto the field.

With less than six minutes remaining in the first quarter, medical attendants rushed over to render aid to Hamlin who was administered CPR as his heart had stopped.

Warning: Disturbing Images

Fans and players alike looked on united in concern over the wellbeing of Hamlin as ultimately an ambulance was driven out to transport the player to a nearby hospital where the most recent updates have reported him to be intubated and in critical condition.

An official statement from the Buffalo Bills read, “Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

While Hamlin’s condition remained unclear, some on social media began to question whether or not the game would proceed or be suspended leading to comments like that from Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless needing to be clarified after swift backlash.

The commentator had made note that the debate was “irrelevant” as he posted, “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game–but how? This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”

However, in the heat of the moment, even broaching the subject was too much for many and former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III was among those who chided the pundit for his remark.

“Damar Hamlin’s LIFE is in the balance. Get your head out of your A**,” he wrote, quote-tweeting Bayless as others followed suit.

Bayless went on to clarify that, “Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him & will continue to.”

BlazeTV’s Jason Whitlock experienced similar heat when he posted a poll asking users to chime in whether they would “have a problem if they called the game a tie?”

He went on to engage those “policing” his account as he openly wondered what conversations the decision makers were having only to later suggest that the outrage mob was hamstringing the coverage of the tragic event. “Twitter has held ESPN hostage. Everyone is afraid to discuss this issue.”

Meanwhile, NFL senior vice president of football operations Troy Vincent who reportedly said on a conference call with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, “I’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve been playing,” later spoke with Pro Football Talk and debunked any suggestion that they were encouraging the game to go on.

“It was really about Damar and making sure — look, I’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve been playing, so immediately my player hat went on. How do you resume playing when such a traumatic event occurs in front of you in real-time?” he asked. “And that’s the way we were thinking about it, the commissioner and I.”

“Frankly, there was no time period for the players to get warmed up. Frankly, the only thing that we asked was that [referee] Shawn [Hochuli] communicate with both head coaches to make sure they had the proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt like was best. So I’m not sure where that came from. Five-minute warmup never crossed my mind, personally,” Vincent expressed.

The NFL VP continued, “And I was the one that was communicating with the commissioner. We never, frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. And that’s not a place that we should ever be in.”

An official statement from the league went on to announce, “Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed. Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.”

Before departing the field, players gathered together and knelt in prayer and as other shared in pulling for Hamlin, the grateful organization captured the unifying message as the ultimate cause of the medical emergency remained in question.


Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles