In an interview published by Sports Illustrated this week, former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman says he is still "bothered" by a 1996 claim made by then columnist now sports commentator Skip Bayless that he is gay.
Aikman calls being gay a "lifestyle people choose," calling it "ridiculous" that someone might think he'd choose it:
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. Maybe it wouldn’t have. But it is ridiculous, and, yeah, it bothers me. If that is a lifestyle people choose, so be it. It doesn't affect me one way or another. But it is not my lifestyle.
Aikman told a radio host in 2011 that he was still so angry at Bayless over the claim that he might resort to physical violence if he ran into him.
In February 2009, Bayless said he stood by his statements.