ESPN analyst Troy Aikman advised the NFL to “take the dresses off” its world-class athletes following an overly-protective “roughing the passer” penalty on Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones on Monday.
Aikman apologized for the comment on Thursday. He hopes those offended can one day forgive him. We hope so too.
“My comments were dumb, just shouldn’t have made them,” Aikman told 96.7 The Ticket. “Just dumb remarks on my part.”
Twitter and the press called Aikman “misogynistic,” “sexist,” and “a white man.” Here are some of the more viral responses to Aikman telling the NFL to loosen the protections on the men who signed up to play a violent sport:
Did Troy Aikman really just say what I think he said?— Jason Page (@TheBackPage) October 11, 2022
Did he really just say that it's time for the league to"take the dresses off"? The 60's called, they want their chauvinist back.
Seriously @ESPN… do better than that crap.#MNF
Jason is not well.
Troy Aikman just said “we need to take the dresses off” on national tv about a call. Can we as a country cancel him so I never have to hear his voice again?— Johnathan (@SoulessGngr) October 11, 2022
Troy Aikman is a dumbass, he needs to be Fired. There's no place for that kind of talk in broadcasting. There's plenty of people who can do his job, they don't need Aikman.— Jeffrey Barker (@Jeffrey55257318) October 11, 2022
Troy Aikman can GET BENT for his “take the dresses off” comment during #MondayNightFootball. Are you freaking kidding me? @NFL I’ll be anxiously awaiting your BS apology statement. That was some crap. Gross.— Rachel Blackstar (@raswedi) October 11, 2022
Aikman caved into submission following these tweets. He couldn’t take it. Most people in his position cannot.
The woke mob still wields great power over cowardly public figures. That’s unfortunate for more than one reason.
First, screeching Twitter accounts aren’t all intimidating. Rather, they are cowardly, shallow, and can’t take a counterpunch. Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, and Aaron Rodgers have exposed them as beatable.
Second, and more importantly, the perpetual outraged are just that: angered daily. Being offended is their sense of purpose. Except, they aren’t actually as offended as they type. Their outrage is phony and opportunistic.
A large section of the media has an impact only by virtue of hysteria. Likewise, unverified Twitter users cannot escape bump-on-the-log status without claiming someone hurt their feelings. Several of the above tweets experienced high engagement on Monday as Twitter’s algorithm rewarded buzzwords like “sexist” under the keyword “Aikman” in the “Trending” tab.
Keep that in mind if you, too, hope to one day see your tweet trend.
American culture, particularly in sports, incentives outrage. Losers like Mike Freeman from USA Today have jobs only to spread fury. They must always find a target, a reason to declare racism and sexism, and bigotry. The progressive movement never ends. Nor does their streaming of anger.
Aikman says his comment was “dumb.” Perhaps. It wasn’t all that funny, clever, or unique. It didn’t add much to the broadcast. So, sure, chalk it up as a “dumb” remark. However, the quirky little line was not misogynistic, dangerous, or fireable — all of which the weasels on Twitter proclaim.
His point was that the NFL has gotten soft, a stance upon which is almost universally agreed. The NFL has put the strongest, most athletic men in the world in protected bubble wrap. That’s an issue that’s ruining the game. Monday’s “roughing the passer” proved this anew.
Aikman used “dresses” as the word choice to make his point. He used the word during a live, unscripted broadcast on which he speaks 50% of the time. Word choices are often lackluster when reacting to an unexpected development in the moment.
Perhaps he even meant it. So what? Dresses don’t represent tackling, violence, or manhood — three words the entire nation considers synonymous with football since its inception. Football being for tough men is not a sexist trope. It’s the consensus by virtue of reality.
Aikmans’ comments weren’t that big of a deal. Get this: not everything is. His remarks certainly weren’t worth a week-long soapbox.
No serious person considers Aikman’s comment “pejorative.” Or a “F-you” to the social climate. These fractured adults are to blame for our weak society:
Troy Aikman said fuck the 2022 social climate and told competition committee to "take off the dresses" live on air, re: roughing the passer calls.— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) October 11, 2022
The competition committee “needs to take the dresses off”?? Aren’t we past using things associated with women as a pejorative? C’mon, Troy Aikman 😡— Paola Boivin (@PaolaBoivin) October 11, 2022
Meghan Ottolini, a female sports radio host for the Boston WEEI-FM station, doesn’t buy the faux outrage either.
“I’m not offended at all,” Ottolini said on Thursday. “Honestly, 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?”
“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?”
Who knew one could still tell the truth while working for a mainstream sports media company in 2022?
The demand for outrage in sports has grown large. Such an issue forces lackeys to promulgate lies like that someone chanted the N-word at a Duke volleyball player. And declare punishing Davaante Adams for assaulting someone as proof of white supremacy. And now grossly exaggerating the impact of a reference to dresses in a football game.
Troy Aikman’s remarks didn’t hurt you or set back women decades. Not every word that runs afoul of the politically correct must be culture war’ed. We need not dissect every comment for deeply rooted bigoted undertones. Not every spoken word requires an apology and pretend outrage.
Troy Aikman’s did not.