In the history of ESPN, the show that causes the most “foot-in-the-mouth” moments has to be First Take. Currently hosted by Stephen A. Smith — who himself was suspended about questionable comments on domestic abuse — and the severely criticized Skip Bayless, the show has provided some genuinely great unscripted moments.

Perhaps one of the best/worst of 2014 happened today, when Bayless called Johnny Manziel an alcoholic and a liar: following a question from Smith, Bayless stated “[Johnny Manziel] has a problem. If you want to call him an alcoholic, I’ll go that far. I think he can’t handle his alcohol.” Well, first it is important to note that this is indeed his opinion: at the same time, to call someone an alcoholic because of what the media reports is a bit drastic. These comments are in response to the latest Manziel story: where he was fined for being late for a treatment on his injured hamstring. Some have suggested Manziel threw a party, which directly resulted in this fine, as well as Gordon’s suspension: but Johnny has since claimed these allegations are “100 percent false.”

Now, does Bayless have proof of this alcoholism, minus the few stories written about the star? Probably not: thus saying he has a problem undermines the disease, hurts the integrity of ESPN and worsens Manziel’s already tarnished image. And since today’s episode, plenty of fans have took to Twitter to show how appalled they were by Skip’s comments.


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I for one have never despised Skip Bayless like other people: in fact, First Take is sometimes a very entertaining show. At the same time, a journalist should never make a statement like that without any evidence whatsoever. Yes, Manziel has made some poor decisions in the limelight: but can being a 22-year-old kid really be confused with such a serious disease — which affects roughly 17 million individuals in America.

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