ESPN has no problem with Skip Bayless calling Johnny Manziel an alcoholic liar
Skip Bayless of course is arguably the most notoriously controversial bloviating talking head currently in the employ of ESPN. The “First Take” stalwart frequently ups the ante with provocative commentary that outlines his sometimes unsavory opinions.
The veteran journalist outdid himself last week on “First Take” when, during a tirade about Johnny Manziel, said the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback needs to “get some help” for his “problem with alcohol.”
When asked by co-panelist Stephen A. Smith if he was implying that Manziel “is an alcoholic and a liar,” Bayless said, “I do. Yes I do. He has a problem – if you want to call him an alcoholic, I’ll go that far. I think he can’t handle his alcohol.”
Bayless’ diatribe about Manziel caused some to take a step back and wonder whether or not ESPN would take him to task for such inflammatory rhetoric, as the network has on other occasions punished its on-air personalities for making incendiary comments and unsubstantiated claims, such as when it suspended Bill Simmons recently for calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar.”
Apparently, in ESPN’s eyes, Bayless’ provocative accusation about Manziel’s supposed alcoholism doesn’t rise to the level of conduct warranting any semblance of discipline.
SI.com’s Richard Deitsch reached out to The Worldwide Leader in Sports to inquire about how management felt about Bayless’ comments. Deitsch received the following response (via The Washington Post):
“When discussing the widely reported public behavior, Skip based his comments on information he has from sources within and around the Browns’ organization with knowledge of Manziel’s continued pattern of behavior, as well as Skip’s personal family experiences with alcoholism.”