When ESPN’s Brent Musburger awkwardly discussed Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and the emergence of a 2014 video of him punching a woman in a bar (and fracturing bones in her face) early on during Monday’s Sugar Bowl broadcast, there was plenty of criticism from the internet. Someone apparently told Musburger about it, as he went on to address his critics on-air in the second half of the game:
This was perhaps handled even more poorly by Musburger than the initial comments, as there seems to be a lot of anger from him that people would dare to criticize him over this. He outlines that Mixon apologized and was tearful, and that’s all well and good, but that doesn’t eliminate the consequences of his actions. Musburger also ends the segment by doubling down on his initial hopes for Mixon in the NFL, saying “I happen to pull for people with second chances, okay? I hope he has a wonderful career and he teaches people with that brutal, violent, video, okay?! Second down and nine.” Here’s the end of that, showing how awkward the transition back to the game was:
Addressing the situation and the response Musburger’s first comments created wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, but this felt like the wrong tone to take, and an awfully indignant tone to have about a sensitive situation. The timing here also felt very poorly thought out; doing this between plays after a Mixon run meant there were only about 30 seconds for Musburger to rush through it before the next play, whereas doing this before or after a commercial break could have given him more time for a carefully crafted statement. From this corner, Musburger didn’t help himself much with this clarification.