Bobby Bowden sparks controversy with comments about fatherless players

Former coach Bobby Bowden being honored at a Florida State game two seasons ago.

Former coach Bobby Bowden being honored at a Florida State game in 2013. (Melina Vastola-USA TODAY )

Legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden made some controversial statements during an appearance on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show on Wednesday morning.

Bowden, who was joining the show in studio to promote an upcoming documentary about his family, made comments regarding his former players, “65 or 70 percent” of whom, he claimed, did not have fathers at home. He went on to commend the guidance provided by female role models in his former players’ lives, such as their mothers, grandmothers, big sisters and aunts.

Bowden continued on about the importance of a male figure in a child’s life, stating that children need “somebody to discipline them and make them be a man.”

The ex-Noles coach got a bit controversial, however, when he discussed the potential effects of his players growing up without fathers.

“They grew up wanting to be like their momma,” Bowden said. “They want to be a man like their momma … that’s why they wear earrings.”

The 87-year-old immediately backtracked on the seriousness of his comments.

“Hey, I’m kidding about that. I have children too, you know,” Bowden said.

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