Dak Prescott to Skip Bayless on Mental Health Struggles: I’d be a ‘Fake Leader’ if I Didn’t Open Up

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By 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott responded Thursday to the abhorrent comments made by Fox Sports host Skip Bayless on 'Undisputed.'

Bayless criticized Prescott after the quarterback admitted in a recent interview that he had dealt with depression, while also discussing his brother's suicide for the first time.

“All throughout this quarantine and this off-season, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”

During "Undisputed" Thursday, Bayless characterized Prescott's depression as a sign of "weakness" due to the fact that he's the quarterback of the Cowboys.

“Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy with him going public that ‘I got depressed. I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out,'” Bayless said. “Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s Team. You know and I know, this sport that you play, it is dog eat dog. It is no compassion. No quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots and it definitely could encourage others on the other side to come after you.”

Prescott was asked about those comments when he met with the media Thursday afternoon, and said he would be a "fake leader" if he didn't share his mental health struggles with others.

"I think being a leader is about being genuine and being real. If I wouldn't have talked about those things to the people I did I wouldn't realize that I, my fiends and a lot more people go through them, and they are as common as they are. I don't think for one second leaders are not, and no matter how big of a person you are, if you're not mentally healthy. ... If you're not thinking the right way then you're not going to be able to lead people the right way. So, before I can lead, I got to make sure my mind's in the right place to do that, and lead people to where they want to me. I think it's important to be vulnerable, to be genuine, to be transparent. I think that goes a long way when you're a leader and when your voice is being heard by so many, and you can inspire."

Prescott then continued to speak more on the importance of speaking about his mental health.

"I got the help I needed, and I was very open about it. ... Emotions can overcome you if you don’t do something about it," Prescott said. "Mental health is a huge issue and it's a real thing in our world right now, especially the world we live in where everything is as viral and everyone is part of the media, I guess you can say, and can get on social media and be overcome with emotions or be overcome with the thoughts of other people and allow that to fill into their heads when those things aren't necessarily true, whether it's getting likes on Instagram or something being viewed or being bulied or whatever it may be. All of those things can put thoughts into your head about yourself or about your situation in life that aren't true. I think that it's huge. I think it's huge to talk, I think it's huge to get help and it saves lives."