Shannon Sharpe Blasts Co-Host Skip Bayless Over Damar Hamlin Tweet

The partners got into it on Wednesday on "Undisputed” on FS1

TV sports commentators Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe in 2016.
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe are at odds with one another.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty

Always looking to push the envelope with his scorching hot sports takes, Skip Bayless may have burned bridges with many of his fans with a tweet on Monday night as the scary situation involving Buffalo Bill Damar Hamlin was playing out on a national stage.

With the health of Hamlin, who is still in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital, hanging in the balance and the status of Monday’s game up in the air, Bayless took to Twitter to question how the NFL could even consider postponing the rest of Bills-Bengals. “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how?” he wrote. “This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”

The tweet was viewed more than 163 million times and generated more than 107,000 responses, most of them negative. Realizing his mistake and likely contacted by one of his bosses, Bayless tried to walk back his take. “Nothing is more important than that young man’s health,” he wrote. “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 & will continue to.”

Despite the semi-apology, what Bayless originally had to say generated immediate backlash from his followers and was actually so divisive that his Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe didn’t show up for his shift on Tuesday at FS1 because he was so upset about what his broadcast partner had written.

On Wednesday when Sharpe returned to the show, it was pretty apparent that his absence on Tuesday was not just a media stunt to drum up ratings. “In watching that game on Monday night, what happened to Damar Hamlin struck me a little different,” Sharpe said. “As a brotherhood in the NFL, when injuries happen, and we know injuries are a part of the game … but I’ve never seen anybody have to be revived and fight for their life on the field.”

Sharpe then directly addressed Bayless’s tweet and asked him to take it down before his co-host interrupted to say he stood by what he tweeted. Sharpe was not impressed. “I cannot even get through a monologue without you interrupting me,” he said. “I didn’t want yesterday to get into a situation where Damar Hamlin was the issue. We should’ve been talking about him and not getting into your tweet. That was what I wasn’t going to do, but you can’t even let me finish my open[ing] monologue.”

The simmering tension between Sharpe and Bayless is just one example of the unease and discomfort that watching Hamlin’s injury on Monday night has created in the football world. That hurt will not be healed until Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest on the field and collapsed after a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, is out of the woods medically and out of the hospital. Thoughts and prayers to the second-year safety.

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