Twitter takes over emotional night



The Buffalo Bills players pray for teammate Damar Hamlin during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. The game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)

Commenting about breaking news is a major priority for some people. Social media is the platform these individuals use to voice their opinions and beliefs as to what may have happened. Sometimes, they’re right. Other times, it just instigates and sparks arguments between users.

The Buffalo Bills versus Cincinnati Bengals game Monday night was postponed due to an injury to Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Hamlin was taken out in an ambulance after having a cardiac arrest. Moments after, social media blew up with concerns and prayers for Hamlin. For sports analyst, Skip Bayless, however, his comments were altered from the common messages being posted.

“No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the game – but how?” Bayless said. “This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome…which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”

Criticism immediately arose following this tweet from Bayless, as individuals were outraged by the timing and choice of words of his tweet. The game itself wasn’t even in the minds of people watching the story unfold, which irritated many. Even former players were frustrated by Bayless’ comments.

“All you care about is football when Damar Hamlin’s life is at risk,” former NFL player Darelle Revis said. “Coming from you I expected more. This tweet is not. You of all people should know better.”

The replies continued to swarm Twitter and “attack” Bayless for his remarks, with many reinstating that it wasn’t about football and more about Hamlin’s health.

“This is the most inconsiderate thing you could have said. We are human beings not just numbers,” Jacksonville Jaguars punter Logan Cooke explained. “You’ve obviously never stepped foot in a locker room or been a part of a family like this…Get over yourself, man…”

Seeing these posts made Bayless realize that what he had said wasn’t clear to many. Almost an hour after his first tweet, Bayless took to Twitter again for some clarification on his previous statement.

“Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last tweet,” Bayless emphasized. “I’m sorry that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant.”

Regardless of what was meant by Bayless or how others interpreted his tweets, it shows the power of social media and how it can make a situation worse than it already is. In times like these where people try to come together, it turns out to be a scenario where people argue about what is really important and what is happening.

Responding to Bayless’ tweet ended up being a priority for some, and took away from the significance of the events that were taking place. Instead of sending some comments and support to Hamlin and his family, people took the time to respond to the tweet with utter frustration.

In the days following the tweets, individuals continued to go after Bayless, unsatisfied with what his responses were following the initial tweet. It was even brought up on his talk show “Undisputed,” which he co-hosts with former NFL player Shannon Sharpe.

According to a CNN article by Nathaniel Meyersohn, “Sharpe tried to bring the conversation back to Hamlin, rather than about Bayless, and Bayless said he didn’t expect Sharpe to address his tweet on air. The tense conversation lasted for about a minute.”

It’s gotten to the point now that the focus is primarily on the comments made by Bayless and his fellow Twitter users, and not on the fact that Hamlin remains in the hospital fighting for his life. An incident where so many people are being supportive is being overlooked because of the “unnecessary” comments.