Cowboys' 'Real Leader' Dak Responds to Bayless About Depression
FRISCO - At the urging of Sports Illustrated editors more even-keeled than I, this report on Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott's response to the reprehensibly ignorant comments made by Fox Sports host Skip Bayless regarding the quarterback's bout with depression will mostly stick to the facts.
How this started: Prescott recently revealed dealing with depression, while also discussing for the first time his brother's suicide.
“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression.''
Bayless' Undisputed TV show, where he's a co-host with Shannon Sharpe, provided a forum for him to characterize Prescott's depression as a sign of "weakness.''
Bayless' position, such as it is, is that the quarterback of the Cowboys should be "tougher'' than that.
“I don’t have sympathy with him going public that ‘I got depressed','' Bayless said. “Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s Team. You know and I know, this sport that 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 could encourage others on the other side to come after you.”
Most thinking people immediately took to social media to criticize Bayless for yet another of his absurd, look-at-me takes.
Bayless' employer, FOX Sports, also released a statement on Thursday night condemning Bayless's remarks, per The Athletic's Richard Deitsch.
Prescott was asked about the comments on Thursday here inside The Star and said he'd be a "fake leader" if he failed to share his truths.
"I think being a leader is about being genuine and being real,'' Prescott said. "If I wouldn't have talked about those things to the people I did, I wouldn't realize that I, my friends and a lot more people go through them, and they are as common as they are.
"I've got to make sure my mind's in the right place ... to lead people to where they want to me. I think it's important to be vulnerable, to be genuine, to be transparent. I think that goes a long way when you're a leader and when your voice is being heard by so many, and you can inspire."
Prescott then said something that deserves a far larger platform than the one Bayless is provided.
"I got the help I needed, and I was very open about it,'' Prescott said. "Emotions can overcome you if you don’t do something about it. Mental health is a huge issue and it's a real thing in our world right now ... I think it's huge to talk, I think it's huge to get help and it saves lives."