Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said his apology for planting an Oklahoma flag in the Ohio State turf was forced in a story posted Tuesday on GQ.com.
Mayfield's remarks in an article by Clay Skipper headlined “Baker Mayfield is Feeling Dangerous" immediately prompted heated discussion on Cleveland sports talk radio.
One of Mayfield’s signature college victories during his time at the University of Oklahoma came Sept. 9, 2017 at Ohio Stadium, when the No. 5 Sooners defeated No. 2 Ohio State 31-16. Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in handing OSU its worst home loss since 1999.
Afterward, Mayfield tried to plant an OU flag in the Block O at midfield, but it toppled over because of the artificial turf.
“A lot of things I do are orchestrated, but things like [that], in the moment, emotionally, I'm just being me,” Mayfield told GQ. “I worked so hard to beat them after they beat us at home the year before that I was so excited and overcome with emotion that one thing led to another. But a lot of Ohio people didn't like me after that one.”
No. 3 Ohio State had defeated No. 14 Oklahoma and Mayfield 45-24 in Norman on Sept. 17, 2016.
Mayfield told GQ that the “higher-ups” at Oklahoma told him he needed to apologize, and Mayfield said his reaction was “jaw-dropping.”
Told by university officials that his display was not what the program was about, Mayfield got worked up when he discussed it with Skipper.
“Actually we won. That's what we're about,” Mayfield told GQ. “I had done so much and worked so hard to play for that school, I was just kinda … almost embarrassed for them to tell me to apologize.”
Asked how heartfelt his apology was on a scale of 1 to 10, Mayfield responded, “Zero. Zero. Absolutely not. … Which might hurt some Ohio fans' feelings. But I think we're all good now.”