NFL commentator Troy Aikman on Thursday voiced regret over what online critics called a “sexist” comment he made during the Kansas City Chiefs-Las Vegas Raiders game Monday night.
The former Dallas Cowboy quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champion questioned a roughing the passer call against Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones when Jones tackled Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during the first half.
“My hope is the competition committee looks at this in the next set of meetings and, you know, we take the dresses off,” Aikman said.
The Chiefs went on to win the AFC West matchup, 30-29.
Troy Aikman: “My hope is the [NFL] Competition Committee looks at this in the next set of meetings, and you know, we take the dresses off.” pic.twitter.com/5DqdLJ8Ccx
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 11, 2022
Liberal media pundits characterized Aikman’s comments as “sexist,” “misogynistic,” “chauvinistic,” and the like.
A truly awful call, but let’s not overlook Troy Aikman’s sexist comment: “My hope is the competition committee looks at this in the next set of meetings, and we take the dresses off.”
— Rachel Schallom Lobdell (@rschallom) October 11, 2022
“My comments were dumb, just shouldn’t have made them,” the 55-year-old said. “Just dumb remarks on my part.”
Some thought the call against Jones was influenced by a concussion suffered by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa when he was sacked on Sept. 29.
Tagovailoa was briefly hospitalized after the hit and remains sidelined.
ESPN reported in the aftermath of that sack, “The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed on an amended concussion protocol this past weekend that included ataxia as a ‘no-go’ symptom — which would require any player who displays ataxia, defined as ‘abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue,’ to be removed from a game and prohibited from returning.”
Aikman told Sports Illustrated in 2015 that he suffered two “severe” concussions and a half dozen others during his 12-year NFL career.
“With the rule changes and safety focus, defensive players have learned where the target areas are. Quarterbacks and receivers are not being hit with the severity they once were,” he said at the time.
Aikman recounted that he did not step away from the NFL after the 2000 season because of the concussions he had sustained, but because of chronic back problems he was experiencing.
In the interview Thursday, according to USA Today’s online property For the Win, Aikman stressed that he was in favor of using rules to protect quarterbacks, but still thinks that things have gone too far.
“But the other part of … what came from that, what I said was that it implied that I’m not in favor of protecting the quarterbacks, which could not be further from the truth,” he said. “I’m totally in favor of the protection that the quarterbacks are afforded, and all players for that matter. But there’s no question there has been over-enforcement of the protection for quarterbacks.”
Meghan Ottolini, a co-host on “Merloni, Fauria & Mego” on Boston’s WEEI-FM, offered a counterpoint to those who are upset about Aikman’s Monday night comments.
One of her co-hosts asked whether she was offended and whether Aikman should apologize.
“Hell no to both! I’m not offended at all,” she said, acknowledging he was trying to say, “Stop playing like a bunch of girls.”
“Who cares? I don’t care. If you’re offended by that, it’s like when somebody asks me if you can say like, ‘Let’s go guys’ to your team of girls soccer players. It’s like, yeah, honestly, why are you wasting your time on this?”
Ottolini said it must be nice to have free time for outrage.
“If this infuriates you, I’m jealous that you have so much energy to dedicate to being mad at Troy Aikman,” she said. “It’s like, why are you watching this anyway?”
Outraged by Troy Aikman’s “take the dresses off” comment on Monday Night Football?
“If this infuriates you, then I’m jealous that you have so much energy to dedicate to being mad at Troy Aikman.” pic.twitter.com/8ccx4rdSae
— Merloni, Fauria, & Mego (@MFMonWEEI) October 12, 2022
She added on a more light-hearted note that wearing dresses is actually a good thing.
“Dresses and skirts are the biggest con that women pulled over men in the history of gender equality,” Ottolini said. “Because they’re like the symbol of femininity.”
“Dresses and skirts are one hundred times more comfortable than any pair of pants you could ever wear,” she explained. “It’s basically like you’re wearing a long T-shirt all day.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.