Baker Mayfield on Big 12's 'Horns Down' Rule Change: 'I Think It's Very Soft'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2019

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield gives a signal during the first half of the team's NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Baker Mayfield is not a fan of the Big 12's crackdown on the "Horns Down" taunt.

"I think it's very soft they're implementing a rule about it," Mayfield told Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast (h/t TMZ). "It shows the sensitivity of today's day and age."

The Big 12 announced this summer it will penalize players who use the gesture to mock opposing players or fans. The "Horns Down" signal has grown in popularity in recent years, especially during Texas football's recent downturn.

"If somebody scores real quickly, turns to their cheering section, and it's real quick and moves on, we'll probably not react like that," conference coordinator of football officials Greg Burks told reporters in July. "If they happened to turn to the other crowd or the other bench or it's prolonged toward another player, it will be treated like any other unsportsmanlike act."

Mayfield played at Oklahoma from 2015 to 2017, winning two of three games against the rival Longhorns. He helped to popularize the Horns Down gesture and even taught the gesture at a football camp over the summer.

"It's quite the honor to be back home and have this," Mayfield told reporters at the event. "But I think the best part about it is that we had some kids yell 'Boomer Sooner' that normally wouldn't."

It's unclear why the Big 12 chose to crack down on the gesture, and it remains to be seen how enforcement plays out over the course of the season.