Former Florida State University quarterback DeAndre Johnson is speaking out about the incident that has left him dismissed from the team and facing misdemeanor battery charges.

Less than 2 weeks after FSU head football coach Jimbo Fisher announced that DeAndre would be indefinitely suspended from the team for violating athletic department policy, a video of DeAndre forcefully punching a female student in the face during an argument at a bar in June has gone viral. In the video, DeAndre and the woman are seen arguing briefly before she attempts to punch him and he restrains her. She tries to hit him once more and is caught off guard when he punches her in the face before walking off. See the entire encounter for yourself below.

Shortly after the video surfaced, TMZ spoke to DeAndre’s lawyer Jose Baez who maintains that while DeAndre has apologized for punching the woman and is deeply embarrassed by his actions, he was not the aggressor in the confrontation. The lawyer also claims that the woman spewed racial slurs at DeAndre just before he punched her, allegedly telling him “get off me you f*****g n****r,” after he bumped into her at the bar.

DeAndre is reportedly participating in community service and participating in programs geared toward helping battered women, substance abuse, and the empowerment of children in light of the incident.

Given the increasingly hostile climate filled with racial tensions in our country right now, it’s easy to read these allegations of the woman hurling offensive comments at DeAndre and instantly put yourself in his shoes as a Black person who is fed up with the constant public disrespect from white people that continues to be swept under the rug.. But the truth of the matter is that while her alleged comments were certainly inappropriate and may lessen the consequences for DeAndre, it seems unlikely that her hateful words will justify him punching her in the face should the case head to trial.

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