Troy Aikman and Joe Buck are claiming that hot-mic comments in which the two NFL announcers seem to be mocking pre-game military flyovers are being taken out of context.
The two men have given different, though not inconsistent, defenses of themselves in recent days after backlash over their comments before Sunday afternoon’s marquee day game on Fox.
Mr. Buck said Thursday that the comments were actually mocking a left-leaning crew member and Mr. Aikman wrote Tuesday more generally that he is “an unwavering patriot that loves this country.”
According to Sports Illustrated, Mr. Buck used time on Thursday’s episode of his “Daddy Issues” podcast to say that the Fox team was mocking neither flyovers nor the military but a staff member who had been critical of them earlier and would be hearing the conversation — a sarcastic in-joke, basically.
“So I see [the flyover], and Troy in the microphone is repeating something that he heard the night before from an unnamed person on our crew. This person happens to be very far left and said, ‘Well, under Biden-Harris, you know that’s not going to happen,’ and Troy was repeating that watching the flyover.
“So they clipped that as if he’s saying that and as if he’s a Harris-Biden fan. But he’s repeating something that somebody said the night before, which is unbelievable,” Mr. Buck said.
Mr. Buck described the dynamic of the exchange as obviously joking.
“If you know Troy at all, he was being 100% sarcastic. Repeating for the person in the truck to hear, like ‘Ha, ha, ha.’ And then I go into a 1950s voice, like, ‘There’s your hard-earned tax dollars at work,’ or whatever — again, repeating parts of conversations to our crew. They clipped that and then run a headline that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck bash flyovers, which it had nothing to do with any of that,” the announcer maintained.
Mr. Aikman wrote over two tweets, without specifically raising the “sarcastic in-joke” defense, that he was not mocking, and would not mock, the U.S. military, as the exchange was widely taken to be doing.
“I love a flyover but it was odd to see one over a mostly empty stadium,” he acknowledged.
“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 concluded, following with a U.S. flag emoji.
The exchange took place before Sunday’s broadcast of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers — a heavily promoted matchup of Hall-of-Fame-bound quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
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