Terry Bradshaw’s chicken comment during the Dolphins-Colts game drew controversy for what some thought was racial insensitivity, and now the announcer has apologized for what he said was an inside joke gone wrong.
The joke came during a highlight of Dolphins tailback Reggie Bush scampering through the Colts defense for a touchdown.
Terry Bradshaw was calling the highlights with fellow Fox studio analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan, and Jimmy Johnson. Calling the 18-yard touchdown, Bradshaw said: “Look at this, Jimmy — like he was chasing that bucket of chicken that the wind was blowing the other day.”
Some interpreted the Terry Bradshaw chicken comment to be a racist shot at Bush, who is African-American, The Hollywood Reported noted.
Bradshaw apologized on Monday, saying that it actually was a joke about how Jimmy Johnson has a fondness for fried chicken. Bradshaw says he got mixed up when making the comment.
“[I’m] so sorry if I hurt anybody and I’m shocked I’m in this position,” Bradshaw told USA Today.
Bradshaw noted that he meant to say “you” to Johnson instead of “he” about Bush. He realized the mistake on Monday when Fox staffers replayed the clip to him.
“I can’t defend myself,” Bradshaw said. “I’ve never been in a situation like this. I don’t know how to react, except to apologize for something I didn’t know I said. I’ve been upset today. It’s not me. I’m shocked.”
Strahan, who is also African-American, seemed to understand Terry Bradshaw’s chicken comment.
“I’m glad you’re talking about Jimmy and not me,” Strahan joked during the broadcast.
Johnson also backed up Terry Bradshaw’s chicken comment explanation. On Twitter Johnson wrote: “Terry Bradshaw was referring to me about ‘chicken’..I eat 4 pieces on the set every Sunday! Now I’m in trouble with my wife.”