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:
A woman who was punched has been reduced to motivation for a football team, and an announcer defensively defends the man who punched. Gross.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) January 3, 2017
What it is about young men being good at sports that makes adult men fall over themselves to make excuses for their behavior?
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) January 3, 2017
ESPN could have used the Joe Mixon story to address a huge problem in sports. Instead Brent Musburger wished him a lengthy NFL career. Yeesh
— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) January 3, 2017
Plenty of empathy for Joe Mixon by Musburger & Palmer. Not a word about the woman Mixon slugged. Embarrassing, but not surprising.
— rickbozich (@rickbozich) January 3, 2017
Gotta wonder if Musburger realizes the irony of stanning for “second chances” while simultaneously blowing his
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) January 3, 2017
— Patti B (@PattiB558) January 3, 2017
So “the young man” Mixon is “doing fine” after punching a woman, and Musberger is singing his praises.
HOW IS THE GIRL DOING?
— Becky Kevoian (@BobsFunGirl) January 3, 2017
Does Brent Musberger understand who the victim was? (Hint: it’s not Joe Mixon)
— Zephyr Melton (@Zmelton13) January 3, 2017
So glad the guy who punched a woman in the face is “doing fine,” I know how taxing that must’ve been for him. pic.twitter.com/G4QiTIHIgg
— shauna (@goldengateblond) January 3, 2017
I rewound this to make sure I wasn’t being too tough on Brent. Nope. It’s even worse the second time. This is embarrassing. pic.twitter.com/QAoikxck9G
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) January 3, 2017
I think a lot of us are just tired of seeing assault crafted into a storyline of how an athlete overcomes the adversity of abusing someone.
— Alex McDaniel (@AlexMcDaniel) January 3, 2017
4) and if you have TWO WEEKS to prep how you are going to talk about this stuff and you blow it, that’s on you
— Jessica Luther (@scATX) January 3, 2017
Musburger did have a few supporters on social media.
Brent set viewers straight on Mixon. Sadly,fans think a PXP guy is also either doing 60 minutes or Hosting First Take on a game. He isn’t.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) January 3, 2017
Here’s an idea: Instead of being mad at Brent Musberger, why not get upset at the legal system that allowed Joe Mixon to serve no jail time?
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 3, 2017
Y’all just wanna be fake mad for absolutely no reason at all! There was nothing wrong with what Brent Musberger said about Mixon.
— LC (@CallherLC) January 3, 2017
— TOWANDA!!! (@TexasMeterMaid) January 3, 2017
— Tod Tucker (@RealTodTucker) January 3, 2017
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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