JOE MIXON AND THE PRESS – AN UNEQUAL AND UNFAIR FIGHT
COLLEGE SPORTS: A lot of people have expressed outrage on both sides of the Joe Mixon issue. The press from day one has condemned Mixon, arguing that if the University of Oklahoma did not punish Mixon harshly it would be tolerant of violence against women. Local columnist Berry Tramel wrote a few articles, but to hit home the social agenda, they had Jenni Carlson (another local writer) condemn Mixon to varying degrees from her different pulpits (broadcast as well as print). Since she is a woman, who would ever challenge her opinion?
In one of her verbal narratives, Carlson called for Mixon’s head and the whole storyline from ESPN down was the insinuation that if the team allowed Frank Shannon, Dorial Green-Beckham and Mixon to remain on the team and/or to play, that OU tolerated violence against women. That would fit within a popular “War against Women” narrative that has many focal points including domestic violence and sexual assault.
I agree with the charge that domestic violence and sexual assault is a problem in this country. The problem for Carlson and the press was that Mixon’s altercation was neither domestic violence nor sexual assault. This was a fight in a public place between strangers and the inconvenient truth is that the instigator of the fight was an intoxicated and troubled white woman that made racial slurs toward and then hit a black male (Mixon) before he did anything in return.
If you want to be fair and condemn Mixon, you must also condemn his assailant and you must condemn the law of self-defense. So where are the calls from Carlson to make it illegal for a man to ever hit a woman, no matter the circumstances? Carlson and no one in the press would do that because that would insinuate that women are not equal to men, and that does not fall into the correct social justice narrative.
Does anyone doubt that if a male made racial hate speech and hit Mixon that the circumstances would be different? By changing the gender of the assailant no charges would be filed, Mixon gets a one game suspension and there is little to no press coverage, if it was a white male that made racial slurs and hit first, then arguably Mixon would be considered a victim of a hate crime.
In an equal world it should not matter the parties gender or color. The treatment of the press of Mixon is, simply put, the definition of unequal treatment and intolerance.
Do not be fooled, it was University President David Boren’s decision to suspend Mixon for one year. The press release states that OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione offered the punishment for which Boren accepted, but neither Boren nor OU can be viewed as condoning violence against women. Once the press made its condemnation, throwing an unproven freshman under the bus was an easy decision, but it does not necessarily make it fair and just.
“We must remember the law is not the law of self-restraint…it is the law of self-defense and it does not distinguish between male, female or color. It does not judge who threw the punch, but whether the punch was thrown…that is why there was no felony charges.”
When you argue self-restraint you argue for something not legally required, but what is morally required, ”turn the other cheek”, and as an adult I can say I would have walked out and would go as far as saying I would not associate with people who make homophobic slurs or for that matter stay up past midnight.