Fox Sports has issued a statement taking issue with pundit Skip Bayless, who slammed Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott this morning on his Undisputed TV show for Prescott’s revelation that he has undergone treatment for depression.
“At Fox Sports, we are proud of Dak Prescott for publicly revealing his struggle with depression and mental health,” said the statement. “No matter the cause of the struggle, Fox Sports believes Dak showed tremendous courage, which is evident in both his leadership on the Dallas Cowboys and in his character off the field. We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion on Undisputed this morning. We have addressed the significance of this matter with Skip and how his insensitive comments were received by people internally at Fox Sports and our audience.”
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There was no word if Bayless was penalized beyond the statement.
On Wednesday, Prescott discussed his struggle with depression and anxiety in an interview with Graham Bensinger on his In Depth television show, tracing his condition to the suicide of his brother. Bayless said Thursday that a quarterback shouldn’t show signs of “weakness,” because “it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots.”
Prescott is already under pressure, as he seeks a long-term contract with the Cowboys. He is playing this season under the franchise tag, which puts him in the top five salaries of NFL quarterbacks. But he’s seeking the bonus that usually comes with a longer deal.
Responding to Bayless, Prescott said he would be a “fake leader” if he didn’t talk about his mental health issues.
“I think being a leader is about being genuine and being real… I think it’s important to be vulnerable, to be genuine, to be transparent,” Prescott said. “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.”