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Bart Scott says his now-viral comments made about Bengals WR Tee Higgins in the wake of the Damar Hamlin situation were taken out of context.
The ESPN NFL analyst stirred the pot earlier this week when he seemingly blamed Higgins for Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during Monday night’s Bengals-Bills game.
The ex-NFL linebacker argued that Higgins hit Hamlin – who is still recovering but making remarkable progress in a Cincinnati hospital – using the crown of his helmet.
“Offensive players can’t use the crown of their head – helmet – as a weapon, which is kind of what Tee Higgins did and I’m not trying to put the blame on Tee Higgins, but that’s something that they tried to take out,” Scott said on First Take.
“Right before the tackle he lowers his helmet and he kind of throws his body into his chest. He’s standing up because he thinks he has to chase Tee Higgins at an angle to make a tackle so he didn’t expect Tee Higgins to launch his body back into him.”
Bart Scott comments anger Micah Pollard, Josh Allen
Shockingly, those comments didn’t sit well with just about anyone, with several big names – including Cowboys LB Micah Pollard – rushing to Higgins’ defense.
Josh Allen, while not naming Scott directly, also made it a point during his presser Thursday to say Higgins doesn’t deserve any of the blame.
Anyway, Scott attempted to clarify his comments during his New York radio show earlier this week.
“Not at all,” Scott said when asked if he meant to blame Higgins for the injury. “This is a football play, like I said before, that you see this type of tackle 100 times in a football game. It’s just one of those unfortunate things — wrong place, wrong time. We’ve seen this happen. It’s no different from anything that happens in any other sport. It’s a freak accident, and nobody’s at fault.”
Scott then did what any sensible person does in the year 2022: say the viral clip was taken out of context.
“In the first segment, if they would’ve paid attention to it, they would have heard that the first thing I did was express my concern for Tee Higgins, because there were reports that he was walking out with his head down on his mother’s shoulder,” he continued. “So I was expressing concern. I was so happy that his mother was there to console him because it’s important to check on him as well because he may feel responsible.
“I expressed that concern and I said that this was just a freak accident that happened [on a routine play] that happens 1,000 times on a football field. In no way am I blaming anybody. We play a violent sport and freaky, fluky stuff happens. That was what I was trying to express, but I had expressed that already in the beginning.
“This was the third segment of us moving forward, of me trying to explain it, and maybe I wasn’t concise. It was an emotional day for everybody and it was tough for everybody.”