CHARLOTTE – When former Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad learns his name is trending on social media, he knows why.
“Just about every year this happens,” Muhammad said. “At some point in time it goes viral again.”
Muhammad is referring to a clip from a Nick Saban press conference that took place back in December of 2014.
The Alabama head coach, who coached Muhammad at Michigan State back in the day, had a mic drop moment when he explained why it’s important to give young adults second chances. And he used Muhammad as an example.
Check out the two-minute video below. It now has five million views on Twitter.
“Everybody in the school, every newspaper guy, everybody was killing the guy (Muhammad) because he got in trouble and said there’s no way he should be on our team,” Saban said. “I didn’t kick him off the team. I suspended him, I made him do stuff. He graduated from Michigan State. He played 15 years in the league, he’s the president of a company now, and he has seven children, and his oldest daughter goes to Princeton. So who was right? I feel strong about this now, really strong.”
Muhammad, of course, is grateful Saban gave him that second chance. Carolina drafted Moose in the second round of the 1996 Draft, and he became one of the best wide receivers to ever play for the Panthers, finishing second all-time in receiving yards. Now he is a managing director at Axum Capital Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded.
“It was early on in (Saban's) career and there was a lot of controversy surrounding the decision that he made. He stood up to that and defended it,” Muhammad said. “It worked itself out. Jeez, that was back in 1995, maybe? I’m pretty sure he’s encountered these scenarios over and over again. My case was maybe one of the first dilemmas: Do I succumb to the scrutiny because I am afraid of the backlash? Or do I stick to my principles and give a guy another chance?
“He evaluated my character and thought I was deserving of a second opportunity. I’m grateful for that, and Nick is probably grateful too that I didn’t make him look bad.”