JEFF PEARLMAN

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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.