Former University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has spoken out in defense of Cale Gundy, the longtime Sooners assistant coach who resigned late Sunday night after uttering a controversial word during a team meeting.
Gundy read aloud words on the screen of a players' iPad, including one the coach deemed to be "a word that I should never — under any circumstance — have uttered."
But Mixon, a former first-team All-Big 12 selection who has played for Cincinnati since the Bengals drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, doesn't think Gundy's self-imposed punishment fits the crime.
In a prepared statement tweeted the next day under the headling "Sooner Nation This Ain't Right!!" Nixon said, "Coach Gundy is everything OU and any institution would want in a coach, teacher, and mentor. He is caring, thoughtful, intelligent, smart, funny experiences, philanthropic, humble, and selfless. ... 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. ... Coach Gundy is the farthest thing from this type of person. ... 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 coach at the university going forward."
As reported by The Spun, Gundy said he "did not even realize" what he was reading and, once he did, "I was horrified."
After playing quarterback at OU in the early 1990s, Gundy returned to the Sooners as a coach under Bob Stoops in 1999 and had served on the staff ever since. He is the younger brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, who made public apologies on separate occasions for different reasons in 2020, including a branded T-shirt he wore and comments he made about the coronavirus pandemic.