Troy Aikman and lifestyle choices

Troy and Skip. The Hall and Oates of modern media.

Troy and Skip. The Hall and Oates of modern media.

So last night I was fascinated to read this little nugget on the Sporting News website. It concerned Troy Aikman, Skip Bayless and a long-ago morsel of nonsense journalistic awfulness that the Skipper never apologized for.

Back in 1996, Bayless—at the time best known for his work in Dallas newspapers—wrote a book called “Hell-Bent.” It chronicled the exploits of the “win-or-else” Cowboys, and featured multiple pages that delved into Aikman’s alleged homosexuality.

Which, as it turns out, wasn’t, ahem, true.

Bayless never apologized because, well, that’s how Bayless does. He makes waves, shocks, screams, bellows, blasts—but refuses to ever admit a mistake. It’s a horrible way to exist in this field, especially when you’re responsible for such a blatant mistake in the name of peddling books.

Anyhow, years have passed, and Aikman is still (rightly) mad. But in expressing his anger toward Skip, he also expressed something quite troubling. It comes down to one line. This one: “If that is a lifestyle people choose, so be it.”

Homosexuality is not as “lifestyle” choice. It’s not something people pick, as if they were standing in line at a Denny’s breakfast buffet. You’re gay because you’re gay, in the same way you’re straight because you’re straight. Lord knows, why would someone choose to endure stuff like this and this?

Maybe Aikman simply misspoke. Maybe he wasn’t measuring words.

Whatever the case, he knows what it feels like when untruths reach print.

He should know better.

3 thoughts on “Troy Aikman and lifestyle choices”

  1. Skip Bayless is a reprehensible, conscienceless, vile excrescence on the ass of society. You were, if anything, too kind to him in “Boys Will Be Boys,” and you were not exactly forgiving of his behavior. But he thrives on this kind of vitriol, because it moves the dial. So no point in dwelling on the post-apocalyptic horror that is his id. He welcomes all of the dirt thrown his way.

    And it’s true that Aikman, who’s had more than a few hits on the old noggin, and is a skoal-dipping country boy at heart, to boot, may not have expressed himself with the panache and wisdom we might desire.

    I don’t care if Aikman is or isn’t homosexual. But damn, part of me wishes that what Bayless wrote was true. Why? Not because I wish any angst on Aikman, or because I want Bayless to be right about ANYTHING; but because Aikman was unquestionably as tough as they come, was a big, big talent; and by all accounts was a strong leader. If a multiple Super Bowl-winning tough guy, in the game’s most important on-field position, at the top of his game was gay, there could be no further claims that gays are easily identifiable because they’re soft, effeminate, etc. — and can’t play football.

    Not that I ever approve of “outing” people. I believe gay men and women should be out and proud, but those are individual decisions. If a gay person chooses to remain closeted (not suggesting Aikman was gay; just that IF he was and chose to be closeted) outing him is simply cruel. And it doesn’t matter whether the person who does the outing is a loony God-squadder as Bayless purports to be (and a homophobe to boot), or a member of the gay community who believes that everybody should be open about his or her sexuality. It’s just cruel.

    But damn, if Aikman actually WERE gay, how great would that be for gay rights and acceptance? That one of the best of the best in America’s most overtly macho of endeavors might have been gay, might bring at least a few mouth-breathers into the modern era.

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