Joe Mixon apologized repeatedly in a press conference today, the first public appearance for the star Oklahoma running back since his lawyer one week ago released video of him punching fellow OU student Amelia Molitor in 2014.
Mixon spoke without notes, took questions from reporters, and apologized profusely over the course of 20 minutes—all to his credit. But the Sooners held the press conference on not just any Friday—the traditional bad news dump day—but the Friday two days before Christmas. The only national outlet that covered the media appearance was ESPNews; you probably didn’t watch it, if you even knew it happened.
Mixon’s lawyer released a copy of the surveillance video showing the punch late last Friday afternoon; it was after the Oklahoma Supreme Court had ruled the tape was a public record and had to be released.
Those manipulations of the media cycle aside, Mixon did express regret many times over during his press conference.
I’m here for a situation that occurred about two and a half years ago. Basically, I’m just here to basically apologize to Ms. Molitor. Like I said, I’m here to apologize to Ms. Molitor, apologize to coach Stoops, apologize to president Boren, the A.D., my teammates, most of all my family. I let a a lot of people down.
Mixon talked about his mother, his family, and how he knew it was “never, never okay to, you know, retaliate and hit a woman.” He said he took “full responsibility” for what happened and hoped to apologize one day to Molitor in person. It was a point he made several times while talking to reporters.
There’s no way you should hit a female. period. Even a male. At the end of the day, there’s no way you should hit a female. Period. And I reacted wrong and, like I said, I apologize to Ms. Molitor, and the people that it affected. The fans. Her family. My family. And that’s it.
He talked about getting counseling, the community service he has to do, and being thankful for getting a second chance so he could “make myself a better person and player on the field.” He also thanked Coach Bob Stoops multiple times, the university’s president, and his teammates.
“I was 18 years old. I was young. Right now, I’m 20 years old,” Mixon said. “I’ve grown up a lot over these past two and a half, three years that I’ve been at OU.”
He also praised anti-rape activist Brenda Tracy, who spoke to the team, saying, “She was awesome. She touched a lot of people on our team.”
Mixon also got a few questions about an October incident that found the Sooners star suspended after tearing up a citation in front of a parking lot attendant and throwing it in her face. He said that time he acted out of frustration and what he did was wrong. He told reporters that he should have taken the ticket, smiled, said thank you, and walked away.
As for why him speaking out took so long, he said that an “older legal team” that had told him it was best to keep quiet. He didn’t want to wait so long but “at the same time, I was advised to keep my mouth closed and now I’m here to this day still trying to apologize.” He later said that he definitely wished the video had come out sooner “for the best of everybody.”
Update (4:52 p.m.): A lawyer for Molitor sent out the follow statement after the press conference ended:
Mia Molitor acknowledges the apology and statements made by Joe Mixon today, as well as Mr. Mixon taking full responsibility for what occurred on July 25, 2014. We are optimistic that today’s events will help in the process of obtaining closure for those involved and, ultimately, in the resolution of all other matters related to that night.