The Cincinnati Bengals selected former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday, again calling attention to Mixon’s assault of a female student in 2014.
Upon the selection, Mixon was loudly booed by the crowd in Philadelphia.
After ESPN host Trey Wingo explained the misdemeanor assault charge brought against Mixon and the public outcry when the video of the incident became public, ESPN made a curious decision. They showed the tape of Mixon’s punch.
Wingo prefaced the video by saying it was very graphic and that, “if you haven’t seen it before, you just should be prepared.” Here’s a clip. Obviously it depicts a woman being punched in the face, so if you do not want to see that, you should not click it.
Many viewers online were surprised ESPN showed the video, given how brutal it is. There are a few different lines of thinking here. You can argue that ESPN should show viewers what Mixon did so they can understand why the Bengals’ pick was controversial and make an informed decision about the situation. You can also argue that a graphic video like that has no business on a television broadcast being watched by children, domestic violence victims and anyone else who might be sensitive to that kind of violence.
Some people on Twitter thought showing the video was unfair to Mixon:
Why won't ESPN let Joe Mixon have his moment? They show the video after one of the best moments of his entire life. Smh?
— Caleb Wilson (@calebwilson81) April 29, 2017
Would never defend Joe Mixon, but @ESPN showing that tape the moment he is drafted is a punk move.
— Matt Ioppolo (@Matt_Ioppolo) April 29, 2017
Others felt it was unfair to his victim:
ESPN should apologize to the victim for showing that Joe Mixon video again. That was just ridiculous.
— Mekka Don (@MekkaDonMusic) April 29, 2017
Others were happy with the network’s decision:
— Shelby Callaway (@she_cal) April 29, 2017
ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Brock Huard tweeted that his son was upset by the video:
Seven-year-old Titus watching the NFL draft w/me & asks "Why is Joe Mixon playing football and not in jail Dad? You don't ever hit a woman."
— Brock Huard (@BrockESPN) April 29, 2017
NFL Network did not show the video.
Awful Announcing tweeted a poll asking whether ESPN should have shown the video, and the results are roughly split so far.
Do you agree with ESPN's decision to show the Joe Mixon incident video during the draft?
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 29, 2017