NFL on Fox analyst Skip Bayless told SI's Seth Davis that he is willing to make up with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who remains displeased with Bayless after he addressed rumors Aikman was gay in his 1996 book Hell Bent.
When Fox hired Bayless in September, Aikman didn't suppress his disapproval of the hire, telling SI's Richard Deitsch he did not believe Bayless had the character to merit a job at Fox. Aikman also works as an NFL analyst at Fox.
“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 organization. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless."
Bayless addressed his relationship with Aikman in this week's episode of The Seth Davis Podcast, saying he has always been surprised at Aikman's outrage at his book and that many people who have not read the book have misinterpreted it.
"No one who read that book thought Troy Aikman was gay. No one. Trust me," Bayless said. "Because even Troy's supporters who read the book loved the way I wrote it."
When asked why he bothered addressing the rumors, Bayless said it was such a big locker room issue for the Cowboys that he couldn't have left it out of the book that focused on the team culture in their 1996 championship season.
"As I wrote in the book I don't know and I don't care, but that was a big locker room issue that year and a big issue among the Switzer supporters."
Bayless said the focus of the book was supposed to be how Aikman emerged the hero from the battle between him and then-Cowboys coach Barry Switzer. He said he has no regrets whatsoever about writing the book.
"For the record, I tried to get in touch with Troy after he seemed to have a public issue with it," Bayless said. "I wrote him a note that said, 'I'm dumbfounded by this that you have any issue with this book. I would have thought you would have loved this book.' He was like the last American hero to me. And to this day I haven't seen Troy, and I would be happy to sit down with him today and talk to him."
Listen to the full episode of The Seth Davis Podcast here.