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Skip Bayless Backpedals After Offensive Damar Hamlin Tweet

  • Fox executive told Bayless to ‘clarify’ Hamlin hot take.
  • Shannon Sharpe was a no-show on Tuesday’s ‘Undisputed.’
skip_bayless
Fox Sports

Did Skip Bayless finally go too far?

The hot take-dishing co-host of FS1’s “Undisputed” admitted his boss told him to “clarify” his outrageous tweet Monday night after Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffered a cardiac arrest on the field. 

Claiming his tweet was “misconstrued,” Bayless portrayed himself as a victim on Tuesday’s show. As with the night before, Bayless offered a non-apology apology.

“My boss here at Fox called and said, ‘Hey, people are really reacting strongly to your tweet. maybe you should clarify.’ Which I immediately did,” Bayless said on Tuesday morning’s episode of the weekday show. 

Despite his controversial tweet, Bayless claimed Hamlin’s dire situation so shook him that he almost skipped Tuesday’s show.

He’s not the only one. 

Bayless’ “Undisputed” co-host Shannon Sharpe raised eyebrows by skipping Tuesday’s show.  

That sparked speculation that the Pro Football Hall of Famer no-showed either as a protest of Bayless or as a statement of support for Hamlin, who remains hospitalized in critical condition.

One source noted it’s highly unusual for Sharpe to skip the embrace debate program the morning after “Monday Night Football,” when “Undisputed” viewership is typically at its peak.

“Shannon Sharpe not showing up today and letting Skip twist in the wind was a good move,” tweeted Kyle Koster of The Big Lead.

Former Fox personality Jason Whitlock dismissed his old colleague’s “phony” backpedaling.

“He’s milking this. This is all peak grifting by all parties,” tweeted Whitlock

Bayless, the longtime enfant terrible of sports TV, sparked widespread outrage Monday night when he asked how the NFL could possibly postpone the Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game so late in the season with playoff seeding on the line.

“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.

Everybody from athletes to former Fox executives immediately lit him up on social media.

Dez Bryant called for Bayless to be canceled “ASAP.” Others described his tweet as a new low, with Hamlin fighting for his life on the field.  

“You’re a sick individual. Real talk,” tweeted Kendrick Perkins, the former NBA star turned ESPN basketball analyst. 

Even former Fox Sports vice president Scott Ackerson reacted with disgust.

“You’ve created the worst take ever. A man could be dead you f$& king POS. You actually make me f$& king embarrassed that I helped start the network that pays you millions of f$& king dollars,” he tweeted at Bayless. “You truly are a worthless POS. What in the actual f$&k are you thinking?” (Ackerson deleted his tweet Tuesday morning).

Sharpe misses show

The Hamlin controversy is not the only problem for the 71-year-old Bayless.

Another source said his relationship with the 54-year-old Sharpe has deteriorated to an “all-time low.”

“Why wasn’t Shannon on Tuesday?” asked a source. “That’s the thing everybody wants to know.”

The duo has been debate partners on “Undisputed” since its debut in 2016. But some of their on-air clashes have gotten increasingly personal.

Sharpe, for example, accused Bayless of “disrespecting” him while debating Tom Brady’s career.

“(Brady’s) still playing at a high level at 45, when you had to stop at 35,” Bayless told Sharpe last month.

“That’s what you do,” Sharpe countered. “Every time I call something into question, I’m jealous…Skip, I did what I did. You make it seem like I was a bum! I’m in the effing Hall of Fame. I’ve got three Super Bowls.”

“So what?” Bayless shot back. “He’s way better than you were.”

“See what you do, you take personal shots,” replied an increasingly angry Sharpe. “You’re willing to take a personal shot at me to say this man is better than me because I say he’s playing bad this year?”

“You disrespect him. It’s beneath your dignity,” Bayless shot back.

“But you would disrespect me to support him?” asked Sharpe.

On Monday night, Sharpe offered a much more empathetic take on Hamlin’s dire situation.

“Please keep Damar Hamlin and his family in your thoughts and prayers. The NFL doesn’t have a manual on how to proceed after an incident like this,” tweeted Sharpe

Fox could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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