Allow me to preface this by saying that I absolutely do not believe a man hitting a woman for any reason is okay. I don't condone it nor will I make excuses for that kind of behavior. The NFL has seen it's share of these stories the past several years and have handled each case quite differently. One thing is for sure, domestic violence or assault to the opposite sex is certainly something no team wants to be associated with considering the media backlash they'd inevitably receive.
A lot of times, however, it comes down to what is or isn't a forgivable act. I'm a proponent of forgiveness. But it's tough. It's extremely difficult for some people to forgive, especially an repugnant act such as a man hitting a woman.
In 2014, Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon punched a woman in public after having a heated argument. The video surfaced late in 2016, leading to a deeper examination of the case. Mixon, who was literally a day removed from turning 18 when the incident occurred, was "arguably" disciplined by Oklahoma University with a redshirt designation that forced the 5-star recruit to sit his entire freshman season.
Now let's get to the business of football. I think it's time to take steps toward forgiving Mxon for his disgusting act of violence. From the sound of things, that seems unlikely. NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline maintains Mixon, "won’t be selected at any point in the (7-round) draft for obvious reasons." Pauline goes on to say "I would stamp a late first-round grade on Mixon."
Since the incident, Mixon has gone to counseling and served over 100 hours of community service. The punishment might veer closer to a slap on the wrist than severe. But one thing is for sure, the public scrutiny will linger for life.
I understand many are not ready to forgive him. I'm also aware that there's many who will never forgive him. But I think we should all take steps towards forgiving the now 20 years old NFL Draft prospect. Joe Mixon is a first round talent who will more than likely not receive that honor in this year's draft. He's already been blocked from attending the NFL combine. But there's no doubt teams will do their homework. How he handles meetings with teams will be key for him.
As for the Washington Redskins, don't be surprised if General Manager Scot McCloughan digs deep and considers drafting Joe Mixon. He's given players with talent second and third chances in the past, including current linebacker Junior Galette.
I don't believe that Joe Mixon should be excused for the incident. He was an 18-year-old, 5-star recruit who probably felt the world revolved around him. Since the incident he's done everything that's been asked of him. Some may believe that's irrelevant, but when it comes to how he was disciplined, it wasn't up to him. Mixon did what he was asked plus more and the only thing we can do is view that as making progress. He came across extremely remorseful in his post-video release presser. Now he has to convince the NFL world that he's a changed man. That won't happen overnight. Him getting drafted won't convince anyone that he's changed either. It will come down to his actions on and off-the-field as he moves forward with his NFL career.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.