Damar Hamlin has been the main topic of discussion everywhere this morning. First Take had a number of guests on to talk about the aftermath of Hamlin collapsing on the field during Monday Night Football, including Bart Scott who first called the hit that led to Hamlin's medical emergency "routine," but after an off-camera discussion with Stephen A. Smith during a commercial break, came back to accuse Tee Higgins of lowering his helmet and using it as a weapon on the play.
"Offensive players can't use the crown of their head - helmet - as a weapon, which is kind of what Tee Higgins did and I'm not trying to put the blame on Tee Higgins, but that's something that they tried to take out."
Smith then asked for clarification, noting that it was untinentional by Higgins.
"Right before the tackle he lowers his helmet and he kind of throws his body into his chest. He's stnading up because he thinks he has to chase Tee Higgens at an angle to make a tackle so he didn't expect Tee Higgins to launch his body back into him."
Anyone who has watched the video knows that the hit was exactly what Scott originally said it was - routine. Higgins, who was understandably shaken up after the game, did not use his helmet. Higgins hit Hamlin with his shoulder. There was nothing dirty, reckless or out of the ordinary about the play. It just had the most unfortunate and unlikely outcome.
For Scott to look at the play and suggest this was Higgins' fault, even if he thinks it was unintentional and doesn't want to blame him, is incredibly messed up. Whatever happens to Hamlin, Higgins has to deal with the fact that he was the one on the other end of a collision that nearly killed another person.
Considering how good ESPN's coverage of this tragic situation has been, Scott's remarks on their most visible talk show is incredibly disappointing.