Broadcaster Troy Aikman is defending himself against criticism for negative comments he made about a military flyover done prior to the Green Bay Packers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game that took place at a half-full stadium in Tampa on Sunday. Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Famer attempted to explain his side of the story.
Aikman, former star quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, and his broadcast partner Joe Buck, were caught on a hot mic. discussing the flyover. During their conversation, Aikman remarked on the costs involved to have the display of jets flying over a stadium that was not filled to capacity.
“That’s a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover,” Aikman said, per USA Today.
“That’s your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work,” Buck responded sarcastically.
“That stuff ain’t happening with (a) Kamala (Harris)-(Joe) Biden ticket, I’ll tell you that right now, partner,” the Dallas Cowboys legend replied.
“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,” he wrote.
Aikman’s tweet did little to appease people on Twitter, where extreme reactions and rhetoric thrive.
“I’m a veteran Troy. I put on the uniform (Army) . I gave up a portion of my life to defend this nation. I’m disappointed in you. You made it clear you did not respect this nation with your comments. I can’t Unhear them,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I stopped watching and supporting the NFL this season and people like you make me feel completely validated with my choice,” another wrote.
“Troy, you were caught on a hot mic with your pal, Joe bashing our military. The NFL and Military have had a long history and if you bother to research you would know, pilots have to have flight hours, they use these fly overs for those things. Training budget covers it,” a third Twitter user added.
Responding to the remarks, the military explained to CNN that the flyovers are classified as training missions and come at no additional costs to the public.
“Flyovers at community events are flown in conjunction with pre-scheduled training missions or other skills training missions at no additional cost to the government,” Ann Stefanek, Air Force spokesperson, told the outlet
Navy spokesman Lt. Rob Reinheimer added: “Flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training and meet proficiency requirements for our pilots.”
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