Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon issued a public apology Friday for his actions in 2014 when he punched a woman inside a Norman, Oklahoma, restaurant.
Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season and entered a plea deal regarding assault charges stemming from the punch against Mia Molitor. Video of the punch was released last week after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that it needed to be part of the public record involving the case.
The running back, an incoming five-star recruit at the time — punched Molitor after she slapped him on the neck. The punch knocked her swiftly to the ground and she hit her face on the side of a table as she fell to the floor. Molitor suffered broken facial bones in the incident and has filed a civil suit vs. Mixon.
Reaction to the video — despite the public knowledge of what it contained — was strong. Mixon was asked Friday if he expected people to be sickened when they saw the video for the first time nearly 2.5 years after the incident. He said he took “full responsibility” for what happened that night.
“Honestly, I’d say yes. And I understand why,” Mixon said. “Like I said, I can only apologize to the people it affected and I’m sorry for what happened that night. If I could do it all over again I would. I wouldn’t be there. I would have left. Like I said to Ms. Molitor, I apologize and I am asking for your forgiveness.”
He thanked Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops for the second chance he received from the school after the punch. Mixon was given conditions to fulfill to be reinstated to the team and he resumed practicing in the spring of 2015 with the Sooners.
Stoops said earlier this week that he likely would have dismissed Mixon today if the punch happened in 2016, curiously citing a change in the way society views violence towards women.
Mixon’s apology 2.5 years after the punch comes in just his second media availability as a member of Oklahoma’s football team. He famously refused to talk about the incident during media sessions before the 2015 Orange Bowl vs. Clemson.
He said he told his lawyers a “while” ago that he wanted to make a public apology. Molitor filed the civil suit vs. Mixon in July.
“Well I actually took the initiative to go to [my lawyers] and tell them like ‘This has got to be a day where it comes to where I make my apology.’ It’s not that I wasn’t hiding,” Mixon said. “I’ve been wanting to say something but at the end of the day, I was just doing what I was asked.”