Legendary football coach Bobby Bowden said players who grow up without fathers need discipline and joked 'that's why they wear earrings'

Legendary Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden made some controversial comments about players who grow up without fathers.

Bowden was a guest on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" Wednesday morning to promote his new book, "The Bowden Dynasty." During the segment, Bowden was simply asked what could be found in the book and Bowden went on a long explanation about why he got into coaching, how he wanted to win without cheating, and how he wanted to make his players "better boys."

When he got to the last part, the comments turned to players who grew up without fathers and Bowden offered his thoughts on the topic, which concluded with a joke that was questionable at best.

"My last years at Florida State, 65 or 70% of my boys did not have a daddy at home," Bowden said. "They were raised by mommas, sweet ol' mommas. Thank god for them mommas. Or grandmomma. Many times it was grandmomma, or big sister, or aunt. But where's the man? A boy needs a male figure. And the girls do too. Somebody to discipline them and make them be a man. I used to kid about this, you know, they grow and wanna be like their momma. They wanna be a man like their momma. That's the way they were raised. That's why they wear earrings."

See the coach through his career:

Coach Bobby Bowden through the years
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Coach Bobby Bowden through the years
Former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden delivers remarks at a rally with Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump in Tampa, Florida, U.S. October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Florida State Seminoles' head coach Bobby Bowden (R) is congratulated by Ohio State Buckeyes' coach John Cooper (L) following the Seminoles 31-14 defeat of the Ohio State Buckeyes, January 1 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. SPORT FOOTBALL
Florida State's star receiver Peter Warrick (L) and head coach Bobby Bowden delebrate with the NCAA National Championship trophy during an award ceremony after the Sugar Bowl January 4. Florida State defeated Virginia Tech 46-29. PTB/SV
President Bill Clinton laughs at a joke by Florida State Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden at a ceremony to honor the 1999 National Champions in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 3. WP/SV
Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden leaves the field with a family friend Les Paltin (L) after the Seminoles defeated the intrastate rival University of Florida Gators 30-7 November 18, 2000. The Seminoles hope to play for the national championship in the Orange Bowl. JLS
Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden watches from the sideline during his team's game with the University of Florida, November 17, 2001. The intrastate rivalry was played in Gainesville's Florida Field. REUTERS/Charles Luzier JLS/HB
With his arm around his wife Ann while tossing the game ball in the air, Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden leaves the field the winningest active Division 1 college football coach in America today after his Seminoles defeated Wake Forest, 48-22, in Tallahassee, October 25, 2003. Bowden passes Penn State legend Joe Paterno with the win. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser MW/GAC
Florida State University quarterback Chris Rix (R) listens as head coach Bobby Bowden talks to the team on the second day of practice, August 10, 2004 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles open their season on September 6 against Miami, on the road. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser/Tallahassee Democrat MW/GN
Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden (C) takes a break between plays in the Seminoles home game in Tallahassee, Florida, September 18, 2004 against University of Alabama-Birmingham to chat with friends from Birmingham, Alabama where Bowden grew up and played football. Roy Vance (L) and Wade Wallace (R) get a laugh out of the 74 year old Bowden who is the winningest coach in division 1A college football. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser MW
Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden (R) tips his hat to the crowd after his team defeated the University of Miami 10-7 during their NCAA season opener in Tallahassee, Florida September 5, 2005. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser JLS/TC
NCAA Division 1 Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden watches the clock as the Florida State Seminoles defeated Syracuse 38-14 at Bobby Bowden field in Tallahassee, Florida on October 1, 2005.
Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden (R) shakes hands with Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford (L) as Swofford presents the ACC championship trophy, after Florida State's 27-22 win over Virginia Tech in the inaugural ACC championship NCAA football game in Jacksonville, Florida December 3, 2005. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser
Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden (L) and Penn State University head coach Joe Paterno meet on the field before the Orange Bowl game in Miami January 3, 2006. The 72nd Orange Bowl pits Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions against Bowden's Florida State Seminoles in just the third-ever meeting between the two legendary coaches and their respective programs. REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser
Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden watch his team during their NCAA football game against University of Florida in Tallahassee, Florida November 25, 2006. REUTERS/Charles W Luzier (UNITED STATES)
Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden waves as he is carried off the field following the team's victory against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, January 1, 2010. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

After a pause, Bowden interrupted Mike Golic to say, "I'm kidding about that. I had children too."

The issue here is that, while Bowden doesn't mention race, his comments are certainly going to be taken by many to have a racial tone since the majority of his athletes were black. And while Bowden says the earrings comment was a joke, the entire topic is one that many would prefer that an older white man not make jokes about at all.

You can see his comments here:

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