Alabama’s Nick Saban decides it’s not ‘necessary’ to suspend player for striking woman: ‘He was scared’

After a video surfaced showing Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver, Jermaine Burton, striking a female Tennessee Vols fan following last Saturday’s loss, head coach Nick Saban refused to suspend the player.

Addressing his reasoning for starting Burton during yesterday’s game versus Mississippi State, Saban felt it wasn’t necessary to remove him from the squad.  On Wednesday, the Alabama head coach responded to the video showing the incident.

“We are aware of the situation with Jermaine Burton as he was exiting the field Saturday. We are currently working to gather more information,” the statement read.

The video in question clearly shows Burton, who is listed as 6’0”, 200 lbs, striking a female Tennessee fan in the face as he attempts to exit the stadium. Following Tennessee’s 52-49 upset of Alabama, the Volunteer fanbase rushed the field to celebrate, a concerning trend following every road game Alabama has lost since 2013.

“I don’t know how many of you have been in a situation like that. I talked to him. He was scared, I was scared, some of our other players were scared,” Saban said. “I think you learn to respect other people because we have a responsibility to do that, regardless of the circumstance we’re in.”

While being scared of a raucous, wild crowd is understandable, that’s not exactly what the video showed. The video, originally posted on TikTok by the fan struck by Burton, shows the fully padded wide-receiver strike the woman as she actively attempts to get out of his way. The video shows her standing in shock as he exits the frame.

During Alabama’s game this weekend ESPN falsely claimed that the organization had enrolled Burton into anger management.

“I talked to the guy, we have him in a counseling program, it’s not an anger management program, as some people announced today. Nobody ever said that, that’s not the problem, that’s not the issue.” Saban continued, “It’s about having the proper respect for other people. 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,” he said.

“We certainly don’t condone any mistreatment of anybody, whether they should or shouldn’t be there. I think you’ve gotta have respect for other people,” Saban said on Wednesday but his decision to field the player this Saturday says otherwise.

Burton finished Saturday’s game with two catches for a total of 40 yards.  Alabama quarterback Bryce Young’s comments mirrored that of the head coach’s when he was asked if he had talked with Burton after the incident.

“That’s stuff that we kind of keep in the locker room with the coaches,” Young said. “It’s kind of just stuff that we talk about internally.”

Others were not so sanguine to Saban’s comments and Burton’s starting role this weekend.

The Daily Wire’s Jake Crain called for Burton to be kicked off the team and charged for the on-field incident.

The Crimson Tide are next scheduled to face the LSU Tigers on November 5th in Baton Rouge, LA.  It remains to be seen whether or not Jermaine Burton will be featuring in the game.


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