For years there have been implications that legendary Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman may be gay, but this week Redskin's wide receiver Brandon Lloyd all but outed the former player in a radio interview. The comment came after now sports commentator Aikman criticized the receiver for a pass that he missed during a game, but the retaliation may just add fuel to an already smoke filled fire.
Troy Aikman was the number one draft pick out of college and legendary coach Jimmy Johnson brought him on board to help out the then struggling Dallas team. During his tenure at the club, the exceptional player was a pro Bowler 6 times and brought three Super Bowl championships back to Dallas.
His good looks and raw talent always made him a fan favorite, but also sparked rumors that he was a homosexual. Aikmen never made much of the rumors that were fueled by several insiders in the NFL, but the speculations always seemed to resurface.
In his 1996 book Hell-bent
, football analyst Skip Bayless made the first reference to the subject and since that time rumors have neither been denied nor confirmed.
David Kopay, the first openly gay NFL player who came out in the seventies, also made reference to Aikmen's sexuality several times and later publicly apologized for trying to force Aikman out of The Closet
After retiring in 2001, Aikman joined the Fox Sports team as a commentator and has been an energetic addition to their line up.
This week, while calling a Redskins game, Aikman stated that he felt Lloyd had missed a catchable pass that could have cost the club a scoring opportunity. The next day on 106.7 WJFK in Washington, D.C, Lloyd retaliated by saying, "There's no such thing as an easy catch in football. I don't believe Tory Aikman anyway. He wasn't man enough to admit his personal life situation as a player."
The radio hosts respond by saying, " I knew he was queer" and they all continued making speculations about Aikman's sexuality.
Gay or not, Aikman is one of the most outstanding players to ever take to a football field and has earned a respected place in history.
Writers at Towleroad.com commented on the interview saying, "Lloyd presents no solid evidence of anything regarding Aikman, but the exchange demonstrates the difficult atmosphere gay players must face in the NFL. When a player's sexuality is seen as something that can blatantly be used against them is it any wonder none of them are open about it."
So far neither side has made a further comment about the incident.