With the 48th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select: Joe Mixon, RB Oklahoma!!!

Now, with all off field issues aside, The Bengals came up on an amazing athlete in Joe Mixon. Though plagued with some injuries in his past, this dynamic back may be what our offense needs to get back to the top scoring stats of 2015.  But, with his talent comes some major controversy for the Bengals as a team and maybe even the entire city of Cincinnati. 

In 2014, Mixon was out with friends at a restaurant.  According to reports, a situation escalated and a woman slapped him and he responded by punching her in the face.  This occurance was also videotaped and went viral for the whole nation to see.  Mixon was suspended from the Oklahoma football team for the whole 2014 season.  Mixon eventually reached a settlement with the woman he hit.

Domestic Violence/Abuse is a serious offense that this country, at times, is quick to brush over and move past.  All violators should be punished accordingly.  With or without the video evidence! The story is similar to that of former NFL player Ray Rice.  A surveillance video went viral of Rice repeatedly hitting his then fiancee.  One of my biggest issues with both situations is the role media plays.  It shouldn’t take the whole country’s reaction to decide the fate of an athlete.  The NFL saw the surveillance video of Ray Rice and only suspended him for 2 games!!!  It was only after the video was seen by all of the country that he was released by the Ravens and ultimately, NFL. 

There needs to be harsher actions already in place for those involved in Domestic Abuse cases.  It shouldn’t take a video release for a domestic violence case become, ‘real’ to the NFL.  Because, how much do y’all know about Giants Kicker Josh Brown?  Right, but see, there was no video attached to this case so, the Giants and NFL thought they could keep this low key and sweep it under the rug.  Which, is completely UNACCEPTABLE!!  It doesn’t matter if only one person was there when it happened or the whole country watched it unfold on camera, it is still…ABUSE and should all be punished in the same way.      

With that said, I am a huge believer in second chances.  It is not fair to give someone a ‘scarlet letter’ for life.  People do make mistakes and could not only recover from their mistake(s) but become better because of it.  It was 2007 when glorified QB Michael Vick was sent to prison for dog fighting.  The country was up in arms with what the football player did and he suffered the consequences of his actions; He went to prison for a year.  Fast forward to 2009 he was given a second chance to play in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.  And, we never heard a bad thing about him again! 

I believe Michael Vick is just one example of a young man making a mistake and growing up and learning his lesson. Let’s not confuse the idea of giving someone a second chance as thinking domestic abuse is okay and/or acceptable.  It is NOT!! But, because someone has an incident, we should not write them off for the rest of their lives.  The NFL should use these athletes who make these mistakes to become mentors to the younger athletes.  As they say, “When one teaches, two learn.” 

Not that this is the story for every athlete, *coughs* Pacman Jones and Greg Hardy, but it is a start in saying that EVERYONE deserves a second chance!  Yes, Mixon should be ‘held on a tight leash’ and if we hear his name again in the news, LET HIM GO!  But, in the mean time, Cincy Bengals fans let’s not continue to haunt Joe Mixon with mistakes of his past but let’s uplift him and push for a Great future as a Cincinnati Bengal!

Welcome to Cincinnati, Joe Mixon, learn from your mistakes, young man, and let it all lead you to an awesome football career!!

PS…Don’t prove us wrong!! =)

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