Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in a runaway, prompting congratulations from many across the sports world. One of those to commend Mayfield was ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who congratulated Mayfield while categorizing Mayfield as “very misunderstood” because of some of his antics on and off the field.
Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden took offense to those comments on Mayfield. Why? Gaulden was a target of Herbstreit earlier this season, as Herbstreit said that Gaulden should have been kicked off the Tennessee team earlier this year after Gaulden flipped off the crowd.
“He does that and you’re thinking with everything that’s been going on at Tennessee, that guy probably will never play again. Next series the defense is on the field, No. 7 is back in the lineup playing.
“He should have taken his uniform off, sent him upstairs and said, ‘Go get a popcorn. You’re no longer on the football team.’ And sent a message to the whole team.”
Gaulden’s response to Herbstreit make a direct reference to the “popcorn” quote.
Gaulden did have a point here, as Mayfield’s strikes against him include grabbing himself and shouting expletives in the middle of a game (against Kansas of all teams), plunking a TCU player in the head with a football in warmups, and an offseason arrest for public intoxication.
Herbstreit has now apologized, and even commended Gaulden for pointing out his past statement.
When you make a mistake it’s important to own it. @Gmoney_7era is 100% right and I apologize to him. Was more disappointed that day w/ Tennessee’s lack of discipline as a team and this was my breaking point. Unfair to Rashaan. I’m sorry. I’m glad you pointed this out man.
A classy response from Herbstreit after Gaulden was rightfully upset. Everyone makes mistakes, and hopefully this can be used as a teachable moment all around.