Bengals teammates support Joe Mixon, but fans are divided

Posted at 6:27 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 12:32:39-04

CINCINNATI - Everyone seems to have an opinion about Joe Mixon. His new teammates say they’re behind him.

“Dwelling on the past is not going to help him move forward,” Bengals safety George Iloka said.  “I'm going to treat him on what I see him do now on and off the field.”

 “I don't think you should hang the man on what he did when he was younger,” said defensive end Carlos Dunlap. “It was very extreme and I think he paid for it.  I think he learned from it.”

But the city is divided on whether the Bengals should have drafted the Oklahoma running back who punched a woman in the face in a restaurant three years ago.

WATCH the video (Some people will find it disturbing):


People shopping at Koch's Sporting Goods downtown had seen the video and were familiar with Mixon's background. They were mixed on the editorial that called the Bengals’ pick “inexcusable” and said  fans should donate to groups helping prevent violence against women instead of buying Bengals tickets.

“That's not a terrible thought,” said Christopher Wood. “I think they need some kind of pressure to make these choices cost them.

“I don't agree with that,” Matt Hoffman countered.  “I think you support the Bengals whoever you put on the field.  If you're not going to support the Bengals, do it because they're not winning.”

Erika Yingling had another thought after watching the video and it had nothing to do with the Bengals winning or losing. She's director of Family and Community Intervention for the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati.

“In particular, this specific case shows that it can happen in any space and that women are vulnerable in public spaces as well as private spaces.” Yingling said.

“We want to believe that there's change available for people. I think for this incident we need to look at what has been done to make sure that this isn't going to happen again.

"We know in our field that the recidivism rate for people who commit acts of violence is 76.5 percent if they don't have an appropriate intervention," she said.

Madisonville's Alex Brantley suggested that the woman shared the blame for pushing Mixon and grabbing his neck.

“Violence against women — I'm just as against that as I am with a woman putting her hands on a man,” Brantley said.

He wrote to us saying people shouldn't continue to hold the assault against Mixon.

“The only person that's going to decide the rest of his career and how his life plays out is Joe Mixon and that's on him  … Yes, I do believe he should have a second chance to prove himself and move past it,” Brantley said.

Mixon came to town over the weekend and answered questions about punching the woman and shattering four bones in her face. The incident happened at 2:30 a.m., a few weeks before Mixon started his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma.

“It hurt to really see it. It hurt to talk about it. But, at the end of the day I'm going to do whatever I can to move forward past the situation,” Mixon said. “Very unfortunately and at the end of the day, I'm blessed to be in this situation.”

Mixon says he's not the person he was three years ago.

 ”Doing counseling, doing community service, helping out little kids that don't get talking to, because I was one of those kids that needed it and benefited,” Mixon said.