Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS Sports commentator Tony Romo is no stranger to controversy, but his inappropriate joke during a 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers game has left a lasting impression on fans and critics alike. While commentating on the game, Romo made a joke about Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen that many found sexist and demeaning.
Brady had just thrown his 600th touchdown pass, and the ball had been caught by wide receiver Mike Evans. Instead of giving the ball to Brady as a memento of the momentous moment, Evans had tossed it to a fan in the stands. Romo then narrated a fake conversation between the fan and a Tampa Bay official trying to get the ball back. In the conversation, Romo suggested that the fan should ask for a date with Gisele Bündchen in exchange for the ball.
The comment did not go over well with viewers, and many took to social media to express their outrage. One critic tweeted, “Yeah, not OK with Romo’s comments. They’re sexist and demeaning. Gisele is not property that can just be passed around.” Others called for Romo to apologize for his insensitive remark.
Romo did not issue an immediate apology, but he did address the controversy in a later interview. “I regret the joke I made during Sunday’s game,” he said. “It was inappropriate and insensitive, and I apologize to Tom, Gisele, and anyone else who was offended by it.”
Despite Romo’s apology, the incident has left a stain on his reputation and has led some to question his suitability as a commentator. Many have called for CBS to take action against Romo, while others have defended him and argued that the joke was harmless and taken out of context.
The controversy surrounding Romo’s joke highlights the ongoing debate over sexism and misogyny in sports media. While some argue that jokes like Romo’s are harmless and simply part of the culture of sports commentary, others argue that they contribute to a broader culture of sexism and objectification of women in sports.
Regardless of where one falls on this debate, it is clear that Romo’s joke has had a lasting impact on his reputation and on the way that fans and critics view him as a commentator. As the debate over sexism in sports media continues, it is likely that incidents like this will continue to spark controversy and debate.