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Tony Romo under fire for on-air Gisele Bündchen comment being called ‘creepy’ and ‘inappropriate’

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Former National Football League quarterback Tony Romo has joined the roster of sports broadcasters who have prompted social media ire after making what some consider an inappropriate or offensive on-air comment.

During the telecast of Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-3 victory over the Chicago Bears, Romo implied perhaps that the Bucs’ superstar signal-caller Tom Brady should give his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, something along the lines of a hall pass.

In context, Romo’s remarks came as CBS cameras cut to a team staffer interacting with the fan who was holding Brady’s 600th touchdown ball, an NFL record. Apparently unaware of the career milestone, wide receiver Mike Evans had tossed the pigskin into the crowd.

In an attempt at humor, Romo, who played for the Dallas Cowboys for 14 seasons, chimed in with an imaginary negotiating strategy between the fan and the staffer, which triggered some viewers.

“A date with Gisele. A date with Gisele, and I’m in. Okay, Tom will do it. One time, you got it.”

Last year, Romo signed a new, 10-year contract with CBS that reportedly pays him $18 million per year for his work on NFL broadcasts, so it’s unlikely he will be canceled.

Perhaps representative of the sports media industry mindset in its current existence, Yahoo sports columnist Shalise Manza Young blasted Romo:

Gisele Bündchen is an incredibly accomplished woman, and in many parts of the world, she is more well-known and recognizable than her husband. She is a stalwart environmentalist, an activist for numerous other causes, a best-selling author, businesswoman and mother. But in an instant Sunday, she was reduced to a piece of property that should be passed around like a bowl of Halloween candy for … a piece of memorabilia…Because of course Brady would pimp out his wife of 12 years to a stranger for the all-important prize of a piece of cowhide. I mean, it’s football, and football is family, so what’s the big deal with handing family over in exchange for a little memorabilia, right?…

 

The fan, identified by multiple media outlets as Byron Kennedy, 29, handed over the ball to the staffer after a brief conversation.

In return, he received autographed jerseys, a helmet and a pair of game cleats, two free tickets for the remainder of this season and the entirety of the next one, and a $1,000 credit at the team souvenir store.

“Brady also sweetened the deal by giving the fan a bitcoin, worth about $63,000,” the New York Post added.

According to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, the valuable piece of football property would have been worth about $500,000 on the open memorabilia market, and the fan should not have given up his leverage. “If Kennedy had held firm (or if he would have just gotten up and left the game with his half-million-dollar souvenir), he would have gotten a lot more.”

Twitter users are weighing in on both sides of the issue. Here is a sampling of the intense response:

Robert Jonathan

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