Alabama Coach Nick Saban is catching flack for deciding to put wide receiver Jermaine Burton back on the field for their next game after viral footage showed Burton smacking a Tennessee fan on the field during their recent loss to Tennessee in Knoxville over a week ago.
The video, seen below, shows Burton walking past a female Tennessee fan and smacking her in the head. He then continues to walk off the field.
Jermaine Burton smacking a girl in the head after the game pic.twitter.com/6DeqPYJ5WK
— Legends of Lindsey Nelson (@VolCreatures) October 18, 2022
RELATED: Video Shows Alabama’s Jermaine Burton Smacking Woman On The Head After Loss To Tennessee
The decision to start Burton along with Saban’s further explanation came days after Saban told reporters that the matter of the situation regarding Burton’s actions would be handled internally.
“I don’t know how many of you have ever been in a situation like that,” said Saban. “But I talked to him. He was scared, I was scared, some of our other players were scared. I think you learn to respect other people because we have a responsibility to do that, regardless of the circumstance that we’re in.”
“I talked to the guy [Burton], we have him in a counseling program, it’s not an anger management program, as people announced today,” he continued. “Nobody ever said that, that’s not the problem, that’s not the issue.”
Saban then defended his choice to put Burton back on the field, saying “It’s about having the proper respect for other people. And I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy, so if you knew the whole story, maybe you wouldn’t either. But I am not gonna divulge that.”
Fans and pundits alike went to Twitter to post their disappointment and disgust over Saban’s call.
RELATED: Alabama Coach Nick Saban Responds To Footage Of Jermaine Burton Hitting Tennessee Fan
“You can’t excuse Jermaine Burton’s actions after the Tennessee game as something that happened because fans rushed the field,” said sports writer Wes Rucker. “We’ve seen the video, guys. It was a woman who was not threatening him at all, and he went out of his way to do it.
“Not saying jail him. But come on.”
“To [ESPN] and Nick Saban,” wrote one fan, “Jermaine Burton of Alabama was ANGRY. His team had just lost to a team that hadn’t beaten them in 15 years. His team had just given up the most points since anyone watching was born.
“He wasn’t scared. He was ANGRY. And he took it out on a young woman.”
RELATED: Virginia Tech Tight End Connor Blumrick Issues Apology After Hitting Fan Following Upset Loss To Old Dominion University
“I still can’t believe Nick Saban chose to play Jermaine Burton,” said radio host Danny Kanell.
Another user on Twitter wrote, “Born and raised in Tuscaloosa, and graduated from BAMA. I will not stand with what Saban is doing/allowing. How does Jermaine Burton walk out on that field, and START?! Mark my word. Nick and BAMA will pay for this blatant lack of discipline and poor leadership.”
Alabama rolled over Mississippi State 30-6 on Saturday. Burton had 2 catches for 40 yards.
What are your thought’s on Saban’s controversial decision? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.
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