It's been 16 long years since ESPN talking head and troll extraordinaire Skip Bayless wrote "Hell-Bent," a book about the Cowboys that contained a completely unsubstantiated claim that Cowboys Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman might have been homosexual. Aikman, who later married Rhonda Worthey and had two children with her before separating this year, has been relatively quiet about Bayless' inflammatory remarks. Until this week, Aikman went on 1310 The Ticket and unloaded. From the Dallas Morning News:
After saying -- rather gratuitously -- "I'm not so sure Skip's not gay," Aikman made it clear that he still bears a grudge.
"When a guy like that comes out and, whether it's intimated or stated, and there's no substance to that claim, and he's doing it purely to gain interest in a book, that's a problem," he said. Aikman then added:
"I will tell you this. I've not seen -- I've not physically seen Skip Bayless since that time. That was in '95. And I still kind of wonder what I might do to him when I do see him.
You might think it's a bit hypocritical of Aikman to throw a gay taunt Bayless' way, and tack on a threat of physical harm. But Bayless' rumor-mongering has dogged Aikman for nearly two decades now, and Bayless has continually egged it on. Check out this interview The Starting Five did with Skip just two years ago:
The Troy Aikman gay rumors had been in Dallas for several years. I did talk radio in Dallas and I would get at least one call a week from someone asking if Troy Aikman is gay. I would hear about the various incidents and would not pay too much attention to them until Switzer asked me at one point if it was true. I told him I didn’t know. His quote was, “You know this is incredible. I gotta take all this s--t off this kid and he’s queer!"... My only regret about the book is that it does not say that Aikman is gay. I had no idea and nor do I care to this day.
A number of the Black players–with whom I was close–contended that he was bisexual.
You can see why a passage like this would make Aikman want to throw Bayless off a highway overpass. Those last three sentences are practically a felony. "I really regret calling Aikman gay... BUT I KNOW PEOPLE WHO SAY HE'S BI!" Just a breathtaking piece of sleaze from one of ESPN's worst leeches. Bayless has spent 16 years not only fanning this rumor, but profiting from it. I mean really, do you know Skip Bayless as anything other than the guy who started the Aikman gay rumors? That's pretty much his calling card, and the reason why ESPN is more than happy to have him spewing contrarian gibberish on "First Take" every morning, like a fly on your monitor.
It's not all that dignified for Aikman to stoop to Bayless' level. It reminds me of Kordell Stewart's lousy overcorrection from six years ago. But after seeing Bayless thrive for 16 years on one completely unproven piece of gossip, can you blame Troy for finally saying he's had enough? I can't.
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