The Problem with Our Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Society




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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

In a recent interview with Graham Bessinger, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott openly talked about the fact that he has struggled with depression, particularly after losing his brother to suicide.

After this, sports commentator Skip Bayless said on air that he didn’t feel bad for Dak and that his openness was a sign of being a poor leader and made him look weak.

Listen, I’m a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan and hate the Dallas Cowboys… as all people should 🤣🤣🤣 but…

This is the problem with our “don’t ask don’t tell” society.

We frown upon being open, transparent, and vulnerable.

We see these things as signs of weakness instead of signs of strength.

We look down on those who are brave enough to admit they have shortcomings or struggles.

These perspectives are not only damaging and hurtful, but they perpetuate all sorts of other problems we see in our culture.

Skip Bayless’s comments were not only insensitive and a cheap attempt to boost ratings and create “shock,” but they were in every way despicable.

They show a complete lack of empathy and demonstrate that Mr. Bayless knows nothing about the qualities of good leadership.

The ignorance displayed in Skip’s comments is off the charts as (mentioned earlier) Dak had lost his own brother to suicide?!?!

What lessons can we learn from this, besides the fact that Skip Bayless is a jackass? 🤔

1. If you don’t know someone’s story you have no business judging it.

It is funny (and by funny I mean sad) how so many of us feel we have license to speak into a person’s situation when we know nothing about their context.

Dak just lost his brother too SUICIDE within the past year! Clearly there is a story here that Dak needs to wrestle through and Skip knows nothing about it… yet he felt free to judge it.

I see this happen all the time, whether it be arguments over racial tension or someone in the church judging the guy in the corner because they “heard he has a little porn issue.”

Can you imagine how much healing and peace we could generate IF WE JUST TOOK THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE’S STORY BEFORE WE JUDGED IT.

2. Transparency is commendable and even though it might bring a minority of detractors, it will also speak to the majority of people who admire such strength of character.

There is some good news about this whole incident.

After Skip’s comments many athletes and celebrities came out publicly in support of Dak while at the same time trashing Skip for his tactless remarks.

It was good to see the often quiet majority finally stand up to the loud and obnoxious voice of a minority.


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Realize that if you are dealing with some things, when you have the bravery to talk about it, you will very likely draw criticism, but it will be from the 1% of people whose opinions really don’t matter.

The truth is there is a much larger group of people who will be inspired and impressed with your integrity and authenticity even though they might lack the courage themselves to tell you as much.

3. Good leaders are not perfect leaders and the best leaders realize this.

Again, I am no fan of Dak and will boo him mercilessly at any football game.

But, there is no doubt he has some great leadership qualities.

The best leaders are ones that are willing to own their shortcomings because we can trust them, as opposed to the weak leaders out there who rather pretend they have Teflon for skin and lack any weakness themselves.

4. Admitting weakness is not weakness, it’s actually strength.

The fact that Skip called Dak’s honesty “weak” still makes me roll my eyes and scratch my head.


He went on a popular TV show and openly talked about one of the most painful things in his life. He literally cried on camera and held nothing back,

This guy is a football player!

He had to know there would be people who would rip him for this…yet, he had the courage to be honest anyway. 

That is S-T-R-E-N-G-T-H, not weakness by any stretch.

Whatever the struggle or challenge you are facing right now, know that if you are willing to own it, talk about it, and seek out help for it, that makes you strong.

It makes you a person of character.

Weakness is NOT having the courage to do these things.

5. Don’t pay attention to anything Skip Bayless says 🙄… he’s a complete moron.

Ok, so this is not as much a “lesson” as just a fact of life. Really… never listen to Skip Bayless. There are much better options out there for sports commentary.

Just know that whoever you are whatever you are facing, you should not fear the opinions of the ignorant minority.

You have a unique story.
You have personal struggles that are just your own.

Just have the courage to admit that fact and then do something about it because at the end of the day that is strength of character in action.

If you are a man struggling with porn, lust, or sexual addiction and need a safe place to start this process, check out the Live Free Community.

You’ll be happy you did.

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