Troy Aikman gets more blowback after trying to explain his ‘flyover’ comments

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Former NFL quarterback and Fox Sports broadcaster Troy Aikman on Tuesday attempted to explain earlier comments he made that appeared to disparage military flyovers ahead of a Sunday game.

Aikman and his broadcast partner, Joe Buck, were caught on a hot mic ahead of the 1 p.m. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers game appearing to complain about a flight of four A-10 bombers who passed over a near-empty Raymond James Stadium.

“That’s a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover,” Aikman, who played all 12 of his seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, winning three Super Bowls, said.

“That’s your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work!” Buck chimed in.

“That stuff ain’t happening with Kamala-Biden ticket. I’ll tell you that right now, partner,” Aikman responded.

The on-air antics did not sit well with fans, many of whom blasted the duo for what was perceived as naked political partisanship in an era where ‘wokeness’ over racial and social justice issues has already led millions of former fans to tune out this year.

Aikman took to Twitter Tuesday to clarify his comments.

“I love a flyover but It was odd to see one over a mostly empty stadium but I am an unwavering patriot that loves this country, has always respected our flag, supported the men and women in the armed forces as well as those in uniform who serve & protect and for anyone to suggest otherwise doesn’t know me, my beliefs or what I have stood for my entire life,” he wrote, adding an American flag.

It should be noted that flyovers are rarely stand-alone events and are most often part of a pilot’s normal required training, which is necessary to hone skills and gain experience in case they’re needed to defend the country.

In March 2018, for instance, Stars and Stripes reported that the Air Force had lifted stadium flyover limits at NFL and MLB games after they had been curtailed due to budget constraints.

They are also used as recruiting tools.

“Flyovers are a way for the U.S. Air Force to showcase the capabilities of our aircraft while at the same time inspire a future generation,” Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Bentley told the outlet. “We are increasing the number of events eligible for support to assist with recruiting efforts and in telling the Air Force story.”

She added that flyovers do not cost taxpayers any additional money because they are part of regular training missions. Bentley also said that flyovers, which take precision because they must be done at precisely the right moment (usually as the National Anthem is finishing) generally comprise 10 minutes of a 12-hour mission.

Adds retired Air Force pilot Paul W. Ambs, who has done many flyovers, “It was productive flight time and does relate to what would be a real-time mission.”

Politically, the comment about the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did not ring true; Aikman has supported Republicans financially in the past, including fellow Texan and President George W. Bush. He’s also supported the late John McCain and Mitt Romney when they ran for the presidency.

But Aikman’s attempted mea culpa was not without skepticism.


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