‘I don’t agree now, I won’t agree in the future… but he’s still my brother’: Stephen A. Smith stands by Skip Bayless after tweet questions whether NFL should postpone game Bills-Bengals after Damar Hamlin had a cardiac arrest
- Skip Bayless out loud on how the NFL will postpone Monday night’s game
- It was suspended after the Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest
- But Stephen A. Smith stood by Bayless after his highly controversial remarks
- Smith and Bayless previously co-hosted First Take together on ESPN until 2016
- Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com
Stephen A. Smith believes Skip Bayless’s ‘heart is in the right place’ after the Fox Sports broadcaster asked how the NFL would postpone the Bengals-Bills game after Damar Hamlin’s concussion.
Monday’s game was stopped and later postponed after Hamlin required CPR after tackling Tee Higgins in the first quarter, with the Bills safety later diagnosed with cardiac arrest.
Bayless angered hordes of fans and players alike when he wondered aloud on Twitter if the NFL could really work out the logistics of a postponement.
Hamlin, 24, remains in critical condition today after he collided with rival Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He then collapsed, went into cardiac arrest before being rushed to hospital
Bills players were shocked as they watched Hamlin receive life-saving treatment on the field
‘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 irrelevant,’ he tweeted.
And Smith, while saying ‘disagree[s]’ with his former First Take co-host, stood by Bayless when asked about the situation on Tuesday.
‘We live in different times. I will not judge Skip Bayless or anyone else for misrepresenting. God knows I have. Purpose is important,’ he said USA TODAY SPORTS.
‘I spent years disagreeing with Skip Bayless, I disagree with him now, and I disagree with him in the future.
‘But he’s still my brother, he’s still the man who brought me here to First Take. I know who he is, I know what he’s about … generally his heart is in the right place and people make mistakes.’
Bayless offered a half-hearted apology on her Undisputed show on Tuesday.
FOX Sports pundit Skip Bayless said Tuesday that he was still “in shock” about what happened
Smith and Bayless were co-hosts of First Take in the show’s first iteration on ESPN
‘Let me say up front that I apologize for what we set out to do here today if it offends anyone because we will try to do the show almost as we normally do the show,’ said the 71-year-old Bayless, who joined Fox Sports in 2016 after being an ESPN pundit for 12 years.
‘But, I’ll admit first that I’m still shaken by what happened last night with Damar Hamlin. Honestly, I’m still devastated. In fact, I’m not sure I can do this show now.’
A chorus of athletes slammed Bayless for his remarks Monday night, with former Thunder and Cavs big man (and frequent Bayless critic) Kendrick Perkins calling Bayless a ‘may sick individual.’
Bayless apologized for asking whether the Bills-Bengals game should be suspended
The TV personality tried to clarify his earlier statements on Tuesday.
‘Nothing is more important than the health of that young man,’ he said. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is the only thing that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him and will continue.’
The Bills tweeted at 1:23 PM ET Tuesday that Hamlin spent the night in the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and remains there in critical condition.
Bills players are seen praying for their 24-year-old teammate after he went into cardiac arrest
While his teammates, family and fans hope he recovers, Smith believes Bayless will have a chance to grow from the mistake.
‘You’re going to get yourself caught up occasionally,’ he said.
‘But if your heart is in the right place, and you really didn’t mean to be bad, and you’re willing to apologize – this country has shown you on many, many occasions that it will allow you to move on. And I am a witness to that.