Though Skip Bayless has said he’s excited for the freedom he’ll have at Fox Sports, not everyone at the network is as thrilled with the hire.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports analyst Troy Aikman couldn’t be less happy with the hiring of Bayless.
Aikman has a long, contentious history with Bayless, and when interviewed by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, didn’t hold back his thoughts about Fox hiring the former ESPN analyst.
“To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement,” Aikman said. “Clearly, [Fox Sports president of national networks] Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organisation. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless.”
As Deitsch notes, in 1996, Bayless, then covering the Dallas Cowboys, released a book titled “Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the ‘Win or Else’ Dallas Cowboys.” According to Deitsch, in the book, Bayless reportedly makes an “unsubstantiated” claim that Aikman was gay.
Since the release of the book, Aikman has not hidden his feelings for Bayless. In 2011, he went on Dallas radio station “The Ticket” 1310 AM and said, “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.”
In 2015, in another interview with Deitsch, Aikman again addressed the situation and said:
“I’m upset about it because it was made up and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated. And he did it, as he does everything, just for attention. I am probably more upset because I probably should have responded to it at the time it was going on. The advice to me was ‘Hey, just don’t address it. It’s not worth it. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s ridiculous. All it’s going to do is have people continue to talk about his book.’ So I didn’t. But I probably could have responded differently and maybe that would have changed things.”
Deitsch adds that Aikman still decided to re-sign with Fox Sports even after the Bayless hire, so odds are, this is not the last time their contentious relationship will be brought up.
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