When Andrew Luck suddenly retired from the NFL amid the latest in a long line of injuries, there were many, many people with bad takes on the subject, almost none of whom were former football players.
The consensus among former NFL players was that Luck was well within his right to get out and had given the game more than enough to deserve to walk away while he still could. Luck has had concussions, shoulder and ankle issues, and even suffered a lacerated kidney in a game, and his latest ankle problem felt to him like a sign he should hang it up.
While former football players were fine with his departure, many talking heads were not. They questioned his toughness — again, of a man who played with a lacerated kidney — and his love for football, with Doug Gottlieb leading the way in Luck retirement hot takery, citing millenial entitlement as the reason for his departure. Among those that fired back at Gottlieb was Fox’s top NFL game analyst Troy Aikman, who called Gottlieb’s take “bullsh*t,” and proceeded to take a shot at FS1 in the process.
That’s total bullshit Doug. What qualifies you to decide how someone should live their life? So you’re now the authority on what motivates Andrew Luck? And if his decisions don’t fit into what you think is best for him then you rip him? Guess that keeps you employed on FS1. Nice https://t.co/p59DsmPoER
— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) August 26, 2019
The latter part of that didn’t sit well with Fox brass, who, as Aikman explained on a recent episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, called him to have a conversation about his tweet and, particularly, his jab at their sports network.
“I just try to be honest and I don’t go looking to jump in the fray, by any means, but if I have an opinion on something and feel strongly about something, then I’ll say it and whatever the consequences of that are, they are,” Aikman said. “I have great bosses and they were great in how they handled it, not because they handled it the way I wanted them to handle it. I think they were very direct with me and honest and I’ve always respected those kinds of people. They respected the fact that I was honest. They did not like that I would say something about the company. I understand that and I appreciate the way that they discussed it with me.”
It’s not the first time Aikman has expressed displeasure with FS1, as he went off after Skip Bayless’ hiring in 2016. In this latest instance, the line crossed was saying that the reason he had a job at FS1 was his willingness to have such a bad take on the Luck retirement, which understandably wouldn’t sit especially well with higher ups. Still, Aikman was in the right to take Gottlieb to task on this one and it doesn’t seem as though this experience will cause him to approach things all that differently should this type of situation arise again.