‘I disagree now, I’ll disagree in the future… but he’s still my brother’: Stephen A. Smith stands by Skip Bayless after tweet questioning if NFL should postpone Bills-Bengals game after Damar Hamlin had a cardiac arrest
- Skip Bayless wondered aloud how the NFL would postpone Monday night’s game
- It was suspended after the Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest
- But Stephen A. Smith has 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’ ‘heart is in the right place’ after the Fox Sports broadcaster questioned how the NFL would postpone the Bengals-Bills game after Damar Hamlin’s collapse.
Monday’s game was stopped and eventually postponed after Hamlin required CPR after tackling Tee Higgins in the first quarter, with the Bills safety later diagnosed as having a cardiac arrest.
Bayless angered hordes of fans and players when he wondered aloud on Twitter if they NFL could actually make the logistics of a postponement work.
Hamlin, 24, remains in a critical condition today after he tackled rival Bengals receiver Tee Higgens. He collapsed after, going into cardiac arrest before being rushed to hospital
Bills players were shocked as they observed 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 so irrelevant,’ he tweeted.
And Smith, while saying he ‘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’m not about to judge Skip Bayless or anybody else for saying the wrong thing. God knows I have. Intent matters,’ he told USA TODAY SPORTS.
‘I’ve spent years disagreeing with Skip Bayless, I disagree with him now, and I’m going to disagree with him into the future.
‘But he’s still my brother, he’s still a guy that brought me here on First Take. I know who he is, I know what he’s about … by and large his heart is in the right place and people make mistakes.’
Bayless offered a half-hearted apology on his show Undisputed on Tuesday.
FOX Sports pundit Skip Bayless said Tuesday he was still ‘shook up’ by what happened
Smith and Bayless were co-hosts of First Take in the first iteration of the show on ESPN
‘Allow me to say upfront that I apologize for what we’re going to set out to do here today if it offends anyone because we’re going to try to do the show pretty much as we usually 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 upfront that I’m still shook up by what happened last night to Damar Hamlin. In fact, I’m still wrecked. In fact, I’m not sure I’m capable of doing this show today.’
A chorus of athletes loudly criticized Bayless for his remarks on Monday night, with former Thunder and Cavs big man (and frequent Bayless critic) Kendrick Perkins calling Bayless a ‘sick individual.’
Bayless apologized for questioning whether the Bills-Bengals game should be suspended
The TV personality tried to clarify his previous remarks on Tuesday.
‘Nothing is more important than that young man’s health,’ he said. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him and will continue to.’
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 from time to time,’ he said.
‘But if your heart’s in the right place, and you truly meant no harm, 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’m an eyewitness to that.
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