NOT OKAY: Skip Bayless Crossed The Line With His Johnny Manziel Comments
Anyone who uses someone's personal tragedy as a way to bolster their own manufactured credibility is a monster, plain and simple. Donald Trump was recently heavily criticized after he thanked people for the "congrats on being right about radical Islamic terrorism" in the wake of the terrorist attack in Orlando that left 49 innocent Americans dead.
That's a mass murder being politicized far too soon by a presidential candidate, and it doesn't get much worse than that. Still, what Skip Bayless tweeted on Sunday was a symptom of the same exact malignant self-importance that Trump embodies.
On Saturday, ESPN talked to the father of troubled former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel. His grim statements regarding the state of his son's life made it clear that the young man's situation has become dire.
“...I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t [sought] it yet. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses. That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say…"
“He has more money than me, so he can outrun me....He’s either going to die, or he’s going to figure out that he needs help. It’s one of the two. But we’ve done everything that we can do. Life goes on. You can’t just chase somebody that’s not willing to listen.... I mean, I hate to say it, but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him.”
These are heartbreaking words to hear from a father about his own son. It is very obvious that Manziel has is far beyond being just a drunken frat bro, which is the reputation he earned while still in the NFL. Between his domestic violence incidents, his over-the-top partying and the complete tanking of his once-promising football career, Manziel's life is in serious crisis. He's a danger to himself and others, and he has created a social circle that consists solely of enablers.
Keep that all in mind as you ready what noted hot-take artist and former ESPN First Take host Bayless had to say about the whole ordeal.
First of all, the fact that Bayless now pretends to have been aware of Manziel's chronic substance abuse issues before the draft is embarrassing. This is the same man who is on the record as having said that Manziel would become a bigger deal in Cleveland than Lebron ever was. If Bayless were aware that Manziel already had an issue with alcohol that he was in denial about, why would he have spent the better part of two years touting Manziel as the next great NFL star? Especially while it was becoming more and more obvious that something was very wrong.
More importantly though: how is it even mildly appropriate to turn this situation into an "I told you so" moment? What do you have to be "out" on, Skip? You just admitted that you had sources telling you he struggled with alcohol before he even entered the NFL, and now "all bets are off" because - despite you ignoring it and acting like it didn't exist for years - it turns out they were right? Who the hell cares whether you are in or out?
People close to Manziel, including his own father, have publicly expressed that they fear for his life. At what point did you read those statements and think that this was a good time for you to tweet about how you saw this coming? It's a very bad look to tweet about what you said and what you asked him without contributing any thing new or insightful to the conversation, but it's just plain reprehensible to do so when you very clearly did not see this coming.
Sadly, just about every single one of us has had the awful responsibility of removing ourselves from the life of a destructive addict; or worse, had to stand by and watch while they cut themselves off from all help. Manziel is not a good person right now and he has not been mentally or physically healthy for a very long time. Watching him spiral out of control in the public eye is horrifying, particularly because it hits very close to home for millions of people. For Bayless to trivialize this by using it as an opportunity to promote his television persona is unforgivable.
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