The owner of the Cincinnati Bengals is telling fans he knows the team “took a risk” in drafting Joe Mixon — but he’s hoping Joe is a changed man who won’t screw up again.
In the letter, Brown points out Mixon’s upside as an athlete — while condemning the “regrettable deed.”
“In making our decision, we took a risk,” Brown says … “In this case, the risk has an upside as well as a downside.”
“We believe Joe has put this behind him and that he can turn into the player and community member that creates a plus for Cincinnati. We are going to do everything in our power to make this happen.”
“Our hope is that time will prove that this opportunity is deserved, and perhaps — if given a chance — Joe can write a chapter in Cincinnati sports history that both he and Cincinnati can be proud of.”
Here’s the letter in its entirety:
“In the NFL draft last Friday, the Cincinnati Bengals selected a very talented football player who did a terrible thing his freshman year at college.
The player – Joe Mixon – is a top level football player by everyone’s account. Joe’s regrettable deed was that he struck a young woman, another student, shortly after arriving on campus in Norman, Oklahoma, three years ago.
Joe and this young woman recently met in person, came to terms with the incident, and they agreed to resolve their differences so they could move forward with their lives. While the circumstances that led up to the incident are unclear – what is clear is that it is unacceptable for a man to strike a woman.
Since the incident three years ago, Joe was suspended by the football team, pleaded guilty in court, and accepted the consequences of his actions. He later went on to become a good citizen in Norman, a popular teammate, a player respected by his coaches, and one of the most talented players in college football.
The Bengals take pride in our hometown and want to provide winning football on the field and successful players off the field. That is the reason we drafted Joe – he is a rare football talent, and his conduct over the past three years leads us to believe he can help us win football games and also become a productive member of this community.
In making our decision, we took a risk. In this case, the risk has an upside as well as a downside. We believe Joe has put this behind him and that he can turn into the player and community member that creates a plus for Cincinnati. We are going to do everything in our power to make this happen. Our hope is that time will prove that this opportunity is deserved, and perhaps – if given a chance – Joe can write a chapter in Cincinnati sports history that both he and Cincinnati can be proud of.
Mike Brown, President”