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ESPN analyst Bart Scott placed blame on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins for a play that resulted in Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest during “Monday Night Football.”
On Tuesday, Scott accused Higgins of lowering his helmet and of a dirty play:
“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 commented 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.”
Using a television platform to blame a football player for another’s life-threatening injury is particularly questionable when the pundit’s accusations are rooted in fallacy.
As the video proves, Higgins did not lower his helmet. Rather, Higgins hit Hamlin with his shoulder.
It was a common, legal, unremarkable football play. Unfortunately, a football play can result in a freak accident, perhaps the most horrific moment in the history of the National Football League.
Bart Scott Blamed Tee Higgins On ESPN
Yet, here’s Bart Scott appearing on ESPN’s highest profile program to falsely accuse a player of committing an illegal (football) act that endangered the life of an opponent.
Scott’s comments are unfair to Higgins, generating a discussion embedded in reckless commentary.
It’s also insensitive to Hamlin’s family. As they await the fate of their loved one, a commentator emerges on television to convince them that an opponent’s unheeding behavior is to blame.
Simply put, Scott added unjust anger to Hamlin’s family in a moment of grave desperation.
Bart Scott’s spreading of misinformation is far more egregious than anything Skip Bayless tweeted on the matter. But Bayless is the one facing calls for termination from professional athletes.
Why is that? Check back to OutKick for a column on the Bayless outrage, and subsequent dismissal of more heinous comments, Tuesday afternoon.
In the meantime, don’t expect ESPN to address Scott’s commentary. OutKick asked Derek Volner, Director of ESPN NFL Communications, for comment on the matter. Unfortunately, ESPN did not respond to said request.
We will update this story if they do. And we hope they do respond.
A credible outlet would certainly denounce such bigotry. However, ESPN only publicly condemns comments when made by white commentators or Sage Steele.
So, expect the network to give Bart Scott a pass.
ESPN already supported Scott last year when he suggested the Ravens put a bounty on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
PS: Just because someone played in the NFL, doesn’t mean they ooze the intelligence to work in television. Case in point: Bart Scott.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with Damar Hamlin. You got this, brother.