Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Mixon had no interest in speaking to certain reporters after he was found not guilty of aggravated menacing charges.
The embattled running back has dealt with one off-the-field issue after another in 2023. Back in April, Mixon was charged with aggravated menacing, a charge he has since been acquitted of after police claimed he pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to shoot her.
Additionally, Mixon is not a suspect in the criminal investigation into the shooting of a teenager who was formerly his next-door neighbor. However, he is facing a lawsuit from the teenage boy’s family, who is seeking damages from Mixon and the individual who was charged with a count of felony assault, after said individual shot the boy in the foot while standing in Mixon’s backyard. In March, Mo Sports Network apologized for recklessly faulting the Cincinnati Bengals running back for this incident, a dangerous accusation that has since been reported as false.
It appears that Mixon’s legal troubles are behind him; at least for now.
He’s remained quiet as the legal process played out. Mixon has not spoken to the media since the end of the 2022 season, even during scheduled media availability.
Following Sunday’s practice, Mixon declined to speak with a group of reporters. According to ESPN’s Ben Baby, he then declared that he would be boycotting questions from specific reporters from the following outlets: Sports Illustrated, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Pro Football Network and ESPN.
Mixon later clarified to Pro Football Talk that it’s not the particular outlet, but reporters who represent those outlets. Those four reporters according to PFT are Ben Baby, Kelsey Conway, James Rapien and Jay Morrison.
Mixon said that questions from those outlets were “not happening.” He cited disrespectful behavior, though, when he was asked to expound on what he’s perceived as disrespectful, he merely replied: “You know how.”
Though, Mixon’s agent has since replied to Baby on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and explained very clearly why his client will not be answering questions from ESPN’s Bengals reporter, among others.
“You know exactly why we don’t talk to you. You consistently look for the negative and always are putting the players down.
We have given you ample chances to correct the situation and you refuse. You made your bed now sleep in it. Don’t tweet to people that you don’t know why.”
You know exactly why we don’t talk to you. You consistently look for the negative and always are putting the players down.
We have given you ample chances to correct the situation and you refuse. You made your bed now sleep in it. Don’t tweet to people that you don’t know why.
— Peter Schaffer (@peterjschaffer) August 20, 2023
So, there you have it. Mixon is not going to boycott the media altogether, but it appears that he has no plans to answer any questions from the reporters mentioned above. If an additional reporter from the same outlet asked him a question, it doesn’t appear that he would be opposed to answering said question, but that obviously remains to be seen.
Mixon isn’t the first athlete to refuse to answer questions from individual reporters. But, this could set an unfortunate precedent, considering the league’s rules on talking to the media.