Shannon Sharpe made his return to Undisputed on Wednesday to face and confront co-host Skip Bayless over his tweet posted after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed on the field during the first quarter of the Buffalo Bills’ Monday Night Football clash with the Cincinnati Bengals and was given CPR for ten minutes before being transferred to a local hospital.
The University of Pittsburgh graduate was resuscitated twice, once on the field and again in the hospital where he remains in critical condition as doctors work to get him breathing without a ventilator.
Sharpe explained his absence from Undisputed on Tuesday, saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about why I wasn’t on here yesterday and I won’t get into speculation or conjecture or innuendo.
“But I will say this, watching that game on Monday night, what happened to Damar Hamlin struck me a little different. As a brotherhood in the NFL, when injuries happen, we know injuries are part of the game. I’ve seen guys suffer ACLs and Achilles tears.
“But I’ve never seen anybody have to be revived and fight for their life on the field, so it struck me a little differently. I remember seeing my brother paralysed on the field, temporarily, and he was able to regain focus. Skip tweeted something and although I disagreed with the tweet, hopefully Skip will take it down.”
Fireworks to start Undisputed over Skip’s tweet pic.twitter.com/CnMBvgUPP3
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 4, 2023
Bayless defended his stance and doubled down, reiterating that he stands by what he tweeted.
“I’m not going to take it down. I stand by what I tweeted.”
The 71-year-old sent social media into a frenzy on Monday night with professional athletes from across the globe such as NFL star Sauce Gardner and the NBA’s Kyle Kuzma, Isaiah Thomas and Kendrick Perkins condemning his tweet.
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.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 3, 2023
Sharpe, widely regarded as one of the great tight ends of all-time and a three-time Super Bowl champion, issued his frustration with Bayless’ interrupting.
“Let me finish, go ahead. I cannot even get through a monologue without you interrupting.
“I didn’t want to yesterday get into a situation when Damar was the issue, we should have been talking about him and not getting into your tweet.
“That’s what I was going to do. But you can’t even let me finish my opening monologue without you interrupting.”