Skip Bayless More Concerned With MNF Game Than Damar Hamlin's Wellbeing

John Simmons | January 3, 2023
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The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals were suited up to play on Monday Night Football in a game that featured two elite quarterbacks and two relentless defenses, with the winner getting an increased chance of improving their playoff seeding. But all of that was forgotten after just nine minutes of play after an unthinkable tragedy hit.

At the 5:58 mark of the first quarter, Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins caught a pass and started running up the field. He proceeded to lower his shoulder and brace for contact from Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who was coming to make a tackle. The defender made the hit, got up, and then immediately collapsed in front of an official.

Hamlin, who is only 24 years old, is currently in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after doctors confirmed that he suffered cardiac arrest from the collision. After he collapsed, medical staff at Paycor Stadium administered CPR for several minutes and had to use an AED to resuscitate him. The NFL announced the game was suspended at 9:17 p.m. (kickoff was at 8:15) and then followed up by saying the game was postponed at 10:05 p.m.

While both teams, Hamlin’s family, and the football community at large are mourning this tragedy, Skip Bayless was inexcusably more concerned with actually playing the game.

The co-host of Undisputed seems to have forgotten that Hamlin was on death’s door, as the safety was unable to breathe on his own for multiple minutes after the hit (hence the CPR and AED). The incident rocked members of both teams to their emotional core, and while the game obviously holds great importance for the 2023 playoff race, that was rightly considered irrelevant considering the circumstances.

ESPN analyst and former NFL safety Ryan Clark provided the best sense of perspective to a world that was left stunned at how a young, promising athlete was minutes away from dying.

Bayless should take notes on how to react to tragedies such as this, and from how countless other NFL players and coaches reacted to the situation.

Unfortunately for Bayless, the game has been postponed indefinitely, as the NFL has offered no timetable for when the game will resume. Until then, the rest of us will pray and hope that Hamlin makes a recovery.

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