Troy Aikman says he supports military after appearing to mock flyovers


Broadcaster Troy Aikman defended himself on Tuesday after he and announcer Joe Buck were caught appearing to mock military flyovers before the Green Bay Packers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game this past weekend.

Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, said he loves flyovers, but it was “odd” to see it over a “mostly empty” over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

“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 otherwise doesn’t know me, my beliefs or what I have stood for my entire life,” Aikman said on Twitter.

Before the start of Sunday’s game, Aikman and Buck went off-script and commented on the jets that flew over the arena. The website Defector published a clip of the remarks on Sunday.

“That’s a lot of jet fuel just for a little flyover,” Aikman said in the clip.

“That’s your hard-earned money and tax dollars at work,” Buck replied sarcastically.

“That stuff ain’t happening with a Kamala [Harris]-[Joe] Biden ticket, I’ll tell you that right now,” Aikman said.

Buck has not responded publicly on the matter. CBS News reached out to Fox Sports for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mitchell, a Department of Defense spokesperson, told CBS News that all military flyovers at community events, including sporting events, are flown in conjunction with pre-scheduled training missions and other skills training missions at no additional costs to the government.

“We often use traditional public outreach opportunities at professional sports venues to foster good relations at home and abroad and help promote public support for our Armed Forces,” Mitchell said. “These activities help the Department showcase military personnel, capabilities, and missions.”

In September, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told Stars and Stripes newspaper that he does not foresee major cuts to the U.S. defense budget if he’s elected president. “I don’t think (budget cuts) are inevitable, but we need priorities in the budget,” Biden said.

Earlier this year, flyovers were deployed to several U.S. cities to pay tribute to first responders during the pandemic. In April, the Washington Post reported that flying the Blue Angels and Thunderbird squadrons cost at least $60,000 per hour.

More about: