Stephen A. Smith on Bart Scott

Stephen A. Smith came to Bart Scott’s defense after the ESPN NFL analyst had a brutal take on the collision that caused Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin to collapse on the field Monday night.

After tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins Monday night, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin stood up before quickly collapsing, going into cardiac arrest and requiring his heartbeat to be restored on the field. Hamlin has been in critical condition, but Thursday morning, the Bills shared an optimistic update from doctors stating the NFL safety has shown “remarkable improvement.”

While most analysts viewed the hit as a routine football play, Scott appeared to direct some blame at Higgins for lowering his helmet into Hamlin during the collision. Scott made the analysis on ESPN’s First Take and has since been blasted by fans and players, prompting Smith to offer defense.

“Let me look into the camera and tell these folks in America to ‘calm down’ as it pertains to Bart Scott,” Smith said on First Take. “People are walking around acting like Bart Scott, in his explanation of the play that ended up injuring Hamlin, that Bart Scott was alluding to Tee Higgins doing something like that on purpose. He did no such thing. That is not true. That is a lie. OK? Nobody would be that insensitive for crying out loud. Especially somebody like Bart Scott. That is false.”

Smith noted that he asked Scott to break down what happened on the play to create the contact between Higgins and Hamlin. Below is video of Scott’s response to the question which garnered criticism.

“He wasn’t blaming Tee Higgins in anyway,” Smith said of Scott. “He wasn’t questioning his intent in anyway, and for people out there to say otherwise is ludicrous. That is not what Bart Scott said on this show yesterday, that’s an absolute lie.”

Scott wasn’t questioning Higgins’ intent, but by saying he “throws his body into (Hamlin’s) chest,” it certainly appeared as though the ESPN analyst was placing at least some blame on the wide receiver for what ended up being a near fatal collision. And after Higgins was clearly distraught by the collision that left Hamlin in critical condition, Scott’s accusatory spin on the routine football play was reckless.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to