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:

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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