ESPN’s Brent Musburger Under Fire For Comments Supporting Oklahoma Player Who Punched Woman


ESPN college football broadcaster Brent Musburger is coming under heavy criticism for comments he made during Monday night’s broadcast of the Sugar Bowl, in which he declared his support for a player who was suspended for a year for punching a woman in 2014.

At the start of the second quarter of Monday’s game between Oklahoma and Auburn, Musburger referenced Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon — whose case has been highly publicized in recent weeks due to the fact that video of the incident has just been released for the first time.

These were Musburger’s comments:

It was troubling, very troubling to see. We’ve talked to the coaches. And they all swear the young man is doing fine. Like I said, Oklahoma thought he might even transfer. But he sat out the suspension, re-instated. And folks, he’s just one of the best. And let’s hope, given a second chance by (head coach) Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, let’s hope that this young man makes the most of his chance and goes on to have a career in the National Football League.

Musburger was apparently informed of the social media criticism he’d been receiving for his comments, and later in the telecast, he added the following:

(A)pparently, some people were upset when I wished this young man well at the next level. Let me make something perfectly clear. What he did with that young lady was brutal. Uncalled for. He’s apologized. He was tearful. He got a second chance. He got a second chance from Bob Stoops. I happen to pull for people with second chances, okay? Let me make it absolutely clear that I hope he has a wonderful career, and he teaches people with that brutal, violent video. Okay?

In discussing Mixon’s second chance, Musburger failed to note a subsequent incident in November 2016, in which Mixon was suspended for a game for ripping up a parking ticket he’d received on campus, and allegedly throwing it at the agent who issued it.

Here is a sampling of the critical comments directed at Musburger from journalists, fans, and other observers:

Musburger did have a few supporters on social media.

But for the most part, public sentiment on Twitter appeared to be running strongly against Musburger. Watch above, via ESPN.

[featured image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo