A profanity-laced comment posted on Twitter by Troy Aikman drew the attention of his Fox Sports bosses, but not for the reason you might think.
In an interview on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast posted Wednesday morning, the Hall of Fame quarterback and top NFL analyst revealed he received a few phone calls from his Fox Sports bosses after ripping Fox Sports Radio host and FS1 analyst Doug Gottlieb on Twitter last month over an Andrew Luck hot take.
But Aikman said his superiors were more upset about his critique of FS1 — the network’s cable channel that’s home to debate shows featuring outspoken hosts like Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, and Jason Whitlock — than his profanity or bashing of a colleague.
“They respected the fact that I was honest. They did not like that I would say something about the company,” Aikman told host Jimmy Traina. “I understand that, and I appreciate the way that they discussed it with me.”
Aikman said his attack wasn’t personal — in fact, he’s been on Gottlieb’s show several times over the past few years. But Aikman said the take struck a nerve because he’s gotten to know Luck and could see the toll injuries were having on the young quarterback, who decided to retire weeks before the start of the 2019 season.
“I know a year ago when I talked to him before one of our games, when he had missed the season the year before because of injury, he said he just found himself in a really bad place,” Aikman said. “He didn’t like himself and did like who he was becoming during that year he was away from football and trying to rehab that shoulder.”
He added, “I just felt Doug’s comments were out of line."
Aikman didn’t delete the profanity-laced tweet, which to date has been liked more than 490,000 times and has more than 68,000 re-tweets.
“Those are monster numbers of epic proportion, so a lot of people were obviously on your side on that,” Traina noted. “I knew … that FS1 line would probably not fly with the higher-ups.”
“I think it’s safe to say you won’t be seeing that kind of tweet again,” Aikman said.
Aikman continues to call two games a week for Fox alongside Joe Buck, with whom he’s been paired since 2001. The duo will call the Eagles’ Week 4 match-up against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday Night Football.