The man who previously alleged that former Oklahoma running back and NFL draft prospect Joe Mixon hit his daughter while in high school has recanted his statement.
Mixon’s agent and lawyer have now denied the allegation as well.
“Nothing happened in high school. There is no incident or event at all and the teams that have asked us about it and have fully done their homework are aware of that. Joe has told them everything. Any team that has asked about it, Joe has told them everything,” said his agent, Peter Schaffer, per CBS Sports
His lawyer, Blake Johnson, told Pro Football Talk he “spoke to multiple administrative officials at Freedom High School who assured me that no such incident ever took place there,” and that Mixon’s disciplinary record from high school reveals no such incident.
“Norman Police also ran Joe’s juvenile record with law enforcement in California and they had no record of any such report or incident (or any other criminal incident on part of Joe),” Johnson said via email. “I’m fairly confident that the incident described in Mr. Hernandez’s original [Facebook] post did not happen.”
After originally saying “I know for a fact he threw my daughter to the ground and hit her,” in 2014, Anthony Hernandez changed his tune after seeing that it was receiving attention and could affect Mixon’s draft stock.
“I have recently learned that a comment I made about Joe Mixon on social media a few years ago is now receiving a lot of attention. I want to explain that comment and clarify that I do not believe Joe ever did anything to hurt my daughter,” Hernandez says, via Pro Football Talk.
“My daughter went to Freedom High School with Joe, and they have been friends for much of their lives. Once, when they were in school together, my daughter had a minor disagreement with some of her classmates that got blown out of proportion. Like any father would, I reacted emotionally. Unfortunately, I did so before I had all the facts. Now, having talked to my daughter and investigated the whole story, I realize that I was mistaken about Joe’s involvement. I definitely overreacted, and I regret that my words might have given some people the wrong impression about Joe. I know that Joe did not hurt my daughter, did not intend to, and would not do so.
“Joe and my daughter are still good friends. Joe is a great kid with a bright future in front of him, and he is welcome in my home anytime.
“My family and I value our privacy. I hope that my statement puts this matter to rest. We will not respond to further media inquiries about this.”
Given the jarring video of Mixon hitting a woman in 2014 which already exists, it’s impossible to say for sure what happened when he was in high school. When the initial allegation surfaced, many likely assumed guilt, thanks to the other video.
However, with the allegation now recanted, it’s unfair for this to further affect Mixon’s draft stock. In our society, you are innocent until proven guilty and though Mixon doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, Hernandez’s statement is enough to give it to him in this instance. Further litigating this without any further evidence would be wrong.
As for the instance of violence we already know Mixon committed, it should affect his draft stock. In a perfect world, it would prevent him from being drafted. In the real world, it will could end with him being drafted as early as the second round (based on comments made by NFL executives).
The NFL has never and likely will never truly care about domestic violence, despite its public stance.
The league’s behavior on this issue has always been abhorrent. It’s chiefly among the reasons Roger Goodell should go, yet his ability to prevent the public from turning on the league as a result of its embrace of domestic abusers is likely one of the reasons he will remain for years to come.