The tale of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon played out in quite uncomfortable fashion during the Sugar Bowl telecast on ESPN Monday.
Not only was Brent Musburger lecturing viewers about giving Mixon a second chance and suggesting we wish him the best in making a career in the NFL (and doubling down on his unpopular stance later in the broadcast), but at one point Oklahoma players were seen playfully punching Mixon as he was being held up in celebration.
Now, it is worth keeping in mind that playfully punching teammates is a fairly common celebration tactic. Heck, Penn State head coach James Franklin gave his offensive coordinator a jab following a touchdown in the Rose Bowl, for crying out loud. Of course, when the player being hoisted in celebration has made headlines for the past two years for an assault on a female student, the playful jabs and punches come off looking absurdly out of touch. They prompted some calls for discipline from the university:
Oklahoma players fake punching Joe Mixon is disgusting. OU has to take action (suspension for 1st game next season?) https://t.co/FcLhzHrnkv
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) January 3, 2017
Mixon sat out the 2014 season as a result of his assault on a woman, but the video footage from the 2014 incident came out just last month as media organizations sued to have the video released. Mixon addressed the video footage and his past in an awkward press conference before Oklahoma left town for New Orleans to play in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn.
Maybe there was no relation to the Sooners players doing the punching motions, but it certainly didn’t look very good considering the circumstances.
[Jeff Eisenband on Twitter]