Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe feud on air over controversial Damar Hamlin tweet
By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN
Skip Bayless spent a third straight day defending his controversial tweet about Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, this time during a tense exchange Wednesday with his Fox Sports talk show co-host Shannon Sharpe.
Sharpe, a former NFL player and member of the NFL Hall of Fame, returned to the duo’s talk show “Undefeated” Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s show. His absence followed co-host Bayless’ widely-criticized tweet questioning whether the NFL should have ended the Bills’ game Monday against the Cincinnati Bengals after Hamlin collapsed on the field. Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a hit to his chest area.
During the incident Monday, Bayless tweeted: “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.”
Bayless later followed up with a tweet, saying the controversy surrounding that tweet was a misunderstanding of his intention.
On Wednesday, the hosts of “Undisputed” immediately got into an argument at the beginning of the show.
“I’ve never seen anybody have to be revived and fight for their life on the field,” Sharpe said during his opening monologue. “Skip tweeted something, and although I disagreed with the tweet, and hopefully Skip would take it down. But I wanted…”
Bayless immediately interrupted, saying “I’m not going to take it down, because I stand by what I tweeted.”
Sharpe then decided not to continue his monologue. Visibly upset at Bayless, he said, “I cannot even get through a monologue without you interrupting me.”
Sharpe tried to bring the conversation back to Hamlin, rather than about Bayless, and Bayless said he didn’t expect Sharpe to address his tweet on air. The tense conversation lasted for about a minute.
On Monday, after Bayless’ controversial tweet, he followed up saying it was a misunderstanding.
“Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters,” Bayless tweeted.
Bayless didn’t acknowledge the tweet at the beginning of Tuesday’s “Undisputed,” but appeared emotional about the incident.
“I apologize for what 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 usual we do the show,” he said. “I’ll admit up front that I’m still shook up 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.”
The NFL postponed Monday’s game after coaches from both teams refused to continue the game, saying details on next steps would come at an “appropriate time.”
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CNN Business’ Jordan Valinsky contributed to this article.