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Reluctantly, I’ll Remain a Bengals Fan, But Joe Mixon Will Have to Earn My Fandom Off The Field

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By: Elyse Brown

With little to no surprise to anyone who follows the NFL, Joe Mixon became a Cincinnati Bengal yesterday. We all knew it was going to happen, and I was waiting for it. Although I tried to prepare, when the pick came in I was still pissed. I said my cuss words and went on my Twitter rant, then I had the rest of the night to think about it and cool down. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve been scrolling through Twitter to see what people have to say about the subject, and I shouldn’t have done that.

If I read one more tweet about how this guy was “young” and “immature”, or how he will “learn from his mistake”, I will throw my phone out the window. And let’s lay out the facts here…I’m a woman. So, maybe I have a different viewpoint than the men tweeting the stuff.  But, should I? I mean seriously, should I? I feel bad for the wives, mothers and daughters of these guys.  “Honey, he did something bad, but he is good at football.” “Sweetie, if a guy ever punches you in the face, it’s not OK. If a football player ever punches you in the face…it’s a different story.”

He didn’t “serve his time”. This isn’t an immature mistake. He didn’t get pulled over after getting in his car after leaving the bar. He didn’t get caught with drugs. He didn’t steal any crab legs. He broke a woman’s face. Knocked her out. This is a character thing. I just don’t understand how people can be standing up for this guy. I’ve read many tweets that said “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Good job, buddy – you can google a Bible verse.  Someone said “we forgave Pete Rose”. Hold up…what? We are comparing apples to sail boats (oranges is too close).

I will always be a Bengals fan, like Lance McAlister said, I can’t let a manager or player stop me from following a team I have been cheering for my whole life. Surprisingly, it’s the fans that are making me sick to my stomach today. I’m not a bad person or a hypocrite for being against this guy. I’m not a terrible fan for wanting any other running back in the draft. I guarantee the family of the woman who Mixon hit feels differenly. I guarantee these fans would feel different if this woman was their sister, daughter, cousin, friend or wife.

First Pacman, and now Mixon. It’s hard for me to understand what happens in the Bengals’ front office. In all honesty, if the Bengals were winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl by drafting these guys, I could understand why they do this.  I wouldn’t agree, but I could understand. But last I checked, we aren’t. We aren’t even winning playoff games.

There’s nothing I can do about this pick, I’ll be watching Mixon on Sundays. But, I’ll also be watching what he does off the field. I want this guy to do something for this community. I want him to speak out against domestic violence and I don’t mean retweet a couple links, or pose for a photo. No. I want him to prove he actually has changed his character and make this city better than it was when he got here.

So yes, I will still cheer on the Bengals, but I won’t be cheering on this guy until he gives me something to cheer about off the field.

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