On Thursday, he responded to a talking head who took him to task for his vulnerability.
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback made the revelation in an interview with Graham Bensinger released Wednesday as he and his brother, Tad, discussed their brother Jace’s death. Jace died by suicide in April.
Dak noted that Jace had a tendency to carry his burdens alone and encouraged others dealing with mental health problems to share their struggles with loved ones.
“Because our adversities, our struggles, what we go through is always gonna be too much for ourselves and maybe too much for even one or two people, but never too much for a community or too much for people in the family that you love. So you have to share these things,” Prescott said.
Prescott was widely applauded for his openness on mental health, an issue with a stigma that’s often magnified in sports.
Skip Bayless’ reckless take
And then there’s Skip Bayless. The FS1 talking head makes his living saying outrageous thing for the sake of being outrageous. On Thursday, he made light of mental illness and criticized Prescott for admitting his struggles while declaring depression unfit for an NFL quarterback.
He also prompted a response from both of the Prescott brothers.
Dak, Tad respond to Bayless
Dak delivered a nuanced response continuing to advocate for mental health awareness and breaking down the stigma of discussing difficult issues.
“Being a leader is about being genuine and being real,” Prescott said in a statement released by the Cowboys’ official website. “As I said, if I wouldn’t have talked about those things to the people I did, I wouldn’t have realized my friends and a lot more people go through them.”
In relation to his comments about mental health and the death of his brother Jace, Dak Prescott was asked today if he gave any thought to the idea that leaders aren’t supposed to show vulnerability. pic.twitter.com/FIBbpsrO2u
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) September 10, 2020
Tad’s response to Bayless was a little more blunt.
Thank you so much to so many for your continued support of @dak and myself. I have no words on the comments made by @RealSkipBayless I don’t know the man but the fact so many athletes have publicly shared their dislike for him says it all 🖕🏾@RealSkipBayless & @undisputed
— Tad Prescott (@86Prescott) September 10, 2020
Fox Sports’ response
The outcry against Bayless’ reckless statement also prompted a response from his employer. Fox Sports supported Prescott and disavowed Bayless’ take. The network did not allude to any action against Bayless other than “addressing the significance of this matter with Skip.”
FOX Sports just released a statement saying they don’t agree with Skip Bayless’ comments on Dak Prescott and mental health. pic.twitter.com/9DUfSsDOm6
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) September 11, 2020
Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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