Respect Equality

NFL commentator Troy Aikman apologizes following ‘take the dresses off’ remark

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback came under fire on social media after making the remark.
Troy Aikman.
Troy Aikman seen in 2017. The Associated Press/ Ron Jenkins

Story at a glance

  • In a broadcast Monday night, the commentator criticized the National Football League for treating quarterbacks too softly.

  • But his word choice sparked outrage on social media, with many calling the comment sexist.

  • During a Dallas, Texas radio appearance Thursday, the Hall of Famer apologized for his remarks, calling them “dumb.” 

Commentator Troy Aikman issued an apology for a comment made during a Monday Night Football broadcast of the Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

During the game, a penalty was called on a Chiefs defensive lineman who sacked the Raiders quarterback. The roughing the passer call wiped out the sack and a fumble recovery.

This followed another controversial roughing the passer call in a Sunday game that involved Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady.

“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 during the broadcast, suggesting the rules were treating quarterbacks too softly.

Many criticized the remark on social media, calling it sexist and dated as it equated wearing dresses with weakness. 

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Aikman addressed the blowback during an appearance on the Dallas, Texas radio station 96.7 The Ticket Thursday, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“My comments were dumb,” Aikman said. “Just shouldn’t have made them. Just dumb remarks on my part.”

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback continued, “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. 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.”

Quarterback safety has also been in the news this year after Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa re-entered a game after taking a hit and stumbling off the field looking off-balance. It was widely suspected that the Miami star was allowed to reenter the game after suffering a concussion. Miami has said the quarterback stumbled because of a back injury, but Tagovailoa did get a concussion in a subsequent game when he took a similar hit.

Aikman was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006 and joined ESPN as an analyst earlier this year. 

The commentator makes around $18 million each year and is joined in the booth by Joe Buck. 

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