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‘I am an unwavering patriot’: Troy Aikman responds to criticisms regarding comments on military flyovers

Aikman: “I love a flyover but It was odd to see one over a mostly empty stadium.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was originally published.

Military flyovers have become a routine pre-game ritual in the NFL.

But there was nothing routine about the flyover prior to the Green Bay Packers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on Sunday.

As the jets soared over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fox broadcasters Troy Aikman and Joe Buck had this jokingly brief exchange on the air that drew some criticism.

“That’s a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover,” Aikman said.

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

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

On Tuesday, Aikman, the former Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback, took to Twitter to respond to criticism regarding his comments.

“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," Aikman said. “For anyone to suggest otherwise doesn’t know me, my beliefs or what I have stood for my entire life.”

It’s not clear how much Sunday’s flyover cost.

The Washington Post reported in April that flying a squadron of fighter jets costs at least $60,000 per hour. However, Stars and Stripes noted in 2018 that flyovers do not cost taxpayers since they are part of military training missions, according to Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Bentley.

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