Fox Sports newly hired personality and commentator Skip Bayless is “dumbfounded” that Troy Aikman has an “issue” with intimating in his 1996 book, Hell-Bent, that the Hall of Fame quarterback was homosexual.
Bayless, appearing on the Seth Davis Podcast, said, “No one who read that book thought Troy Aikman was gay. No one. Trust me. Because even Troy’s supporters who read the book loved the way I wrote it.” Bayless pointed out to Davis that suspicion that Aikman was gay “was a big locker room issue that year and a big issue among the Switzer supporters.”
That assertion may be a surprise to Aikman’s former wife and children. The three-time Superbowl champion was married to former Cowboys publicist Rhonda Worthey for 11 years and has two daughters from that marriage.
In Hellbent Bayless wrote:
I had heard the rumor since 1991. An off-duty Dallas police officer who traveled with the Cowboys and worked security at their hotels first told me that ‘the word on the street’ was that Troy Aikman was gay. Over the next four years, I heard the rumor from two more police officers who worked around the team (and I know they mentioned it to team officials). One officer told me Aikman ‘was supposed to be’ having a relationship with a male member of a country-western band.
The number one overall draft pick in 1989 was none too happy that Fox Sports decided to bring Bayless into the broadcasting fold. “To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement, ” Aikman told Sports Illustrated.
Aikman, who was hired by Fox in 2001 as a provider of color commentary for the NFC telecasts, thinks the network made a bad decision in hiring Bayless, who he considers unworthy of the job. He even singles out Fox Sports president of national networks Jamie Horowitz, holding him responsible for hiring the longtime ESPN sportswriter and sports talk host.
“Clearly, Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organization,” he explained. “I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless.”
Bayless told Davis that he has tried to contact Aikman and even wrote him a note, saying, “I’m dumbfounded by this that you have any issue with this book. I would have thought you would have loved this book.” He added, “I would be happy to sit down with him today and talk to him.”
Perhaps Aikman, who hasn’t agreed to any such sit-down meeting, may be “dumbfounded” that Bayless would even ask.