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Ex-Oklahoma star defends Cale Gundy in statement

Joe Mixon in his Bengals uniform

Nov 17, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) gestures on the sideline before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

A former Oklahoma Sooners star defended Cale Gundy in a statement released on Sunday night, not long after the coach announced his resignation.

Gundy announced on Sunday night that he was resigning from his job as a longtime Oklahoma assistant coach. The coach explained in his statement that he inadvertently read an inappropriate word when reading aloud what was on the iPad of a distracted player during a team meeting.

Joe Mixon, who played at Oklahoma from 2015-2016, immediately came to Gundy’s defense. The Cincinnati Bengals running back issued a statement on Twitter defending his former coach.

Below is the full text of Mixon’s statement:

“Coach Gundy is everything OU and any institution would want in a coach, teacher, and mentor. He is caring, thoughtful, intelligent, smart, funny, experienced, philanthropic, humble, and selfless. If not for Coach Gundy I would not have attended OU, survived at OU, stayed at OU, and succeeded in life after OU. I owe my education and professional career to him and most importantly I owe who I am as a person to him.

“Most importantly Coach Gundy is not, and I repeat is not a racist in any way nor has a racist bone in his body, mind, or soul. I grew up in the Bay area and went to school obviously in Oklahoma. I know racists, I have witnessed both obvious and discreet forms of racism and have known and detested even more actual racist [sic]. Coach Gundy is the farthest thing from this type of person. I spent every day for the 1,000 days I was in Norman with him, and I never saw anything that would lead anyone to believe this or think this.

“During my years at OU, there was one constant and that was Coach Gundy. He was always there for me and all of my teammates, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, summer, winter, spring, and fall. No favor was too big, no ask too small, no advise [sic] too meaningless. Within the rules of the NCAA, whatever he could do for all players and myself he did. He is a father figure, a mentor, coach, and best friend to me. He always had my best interest at heart and spent every moment enrichening [sic] my life, educating me, mentoring me, and making sure I was the best version of myself. I owe a lot to a lot of people for my success but no one more so than Coach Gundy. Without him, I am not the person I am today, the player I am in the NFL or the teammate I am.

“I know this about Coach, if he was admonishing a student athlete for any reason, it was because he was trying to help that athlete be a better person, player, teammate, and student athlete of OU. I know for a fact, that if he used any derogatory or inappropriate words, it was because they were written and not his own thoughts. I have never seen him say, think or utter and [sic] racist words, slang or sayings. And please keep in mind that he is in meeting rooms and locker rooms where such words are thrown around by the players and in the music we listen to as often and easily as football [sic] fly in the air at practices.

“In conclusion, I offer my highest support and admiration for Coach Gundy and will be extremely disappointed with the school, the program, and the administrators if he is not allowed to continue as a coach at the university going forward. If he in anyone’s eyes did anything wrong then let us show people how we give people second changes [sic], how we help all people be better people and that we teach all to work together, grow and evolve as people. I for one having gone through my own tribulations while at OU know that I am where I am because I was given a second chance at school, life and to be a better person. And I owe a lof of that to Coach Gundy as a person, teacher, and coach.”

Mixon’s statement carried a lot of meaning and weight, and no doubt Gundy appreciated the sentiment and words. The statement also is highly appropriate given the comparisons of their situations.

Mixon was suspended for all of the 2014 season for punching a female Oklahoma student at a campus eatery. He also received a suspension for an incident with a parking attendant. Mixon was given multiple chances, and Gundy apparently played a huge role in helping the running back. Mixon has not had legal issues since.

Second chances were given to Mixon, despite him committing a violent crime, and he took advantage. Gundy apparently repeated someone else’s bad word after a 32-year record without incident at Oklahoma, and he is resigning.


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