Posted 02/10/2014 by Derek Suboticki in MMA Buzz
 
 

Homophobia in MMA, How It Compares, and What To Do About It

The widespread stereotyping of MMA fans as aggressive, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic is both vexing and completely understandable. Ours is not the first fan base to suffer from such predetermined opinions, nor is it the only one that suffers from an inaccurate blanket assessments – there are gay men and women who tune in to the NFL every Sunday during the season, young kids begging their parents to take them to MLB baseball games and, yes, even hockey fans from tropical climates. And while the tales of violence outside of football games and racist chants at European soccer matches seem to reinforce those negative stereotypes with regularity, wearing a Denver Broncos t-shirt to the grocery store or bar doesn’t result in the cascade of judgments from fellow patrons that a TapouT or Affliction t-shirt does. Of course, the myriad doodads and bedazzling effects perpetrated upon acid-washed fabric by MMA clothing companies don’t help; perhaps, however, it has more to do with the MMA community’s reaction, be it tolerance or celebration, to similarly repugnant offshoots within our own ranks.

As a smaller community, our regrettable voices of hatred and discord should be even fewer and far between, but it doesn’t feel that way. Perhaps I was, in fact, off base when I asserted that the MMA fan base is no more homophobic than any other; maybe that was wishful thinking. There is a disturbing ratio within the MMA blogosphere and Twitterverse between decent, thoughtful human beings that enjoy the sport, and stunted man-children that seek to use their attraction to violence as a club with which to bludgeon any aspect of modern life they disagree with, and it’s a ratio that one cannot find in the digital realm of any other sport. Now, again, our community’s puny nature (relative to those it is being compared against) will necessarily amplify such backwards voices beyond what they merit, but it should also act as an artificial limit on the number of braying jackasses we have to deal with. It doesn’t seem to.

There are three names that I will focus upon here, for their idiocy yesterday regarding a matter that wasn’t even tangentially related to MMA (i.e., the public coming out of Missouri defensive end and NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam). That Sam, a young man with absolutely nothing to gain and (potentially, if the cowardly anonymous quotes from NFL/team officials are any indication) millions of dollars to lose, deserves our applause and admiration should go without saying, but not to these jokers.

Yes, Jason Coles of MMA Sun, consensual homosexual relations are precisely comparable to stealing from someone, murdering someone and cheating on someone. Asking whether Jason was a fucking idiot did not solicit a response (nor did anything else – perhaps I was simply too intolerant), but this gem cannot go without comment:

 

Briefly, for those of you that have not had to stand up for a gay relative or friend: nobody gives a shit about the freedom to say bigoted things in public without repercussion. That right is gone now. Freedom of speech does not entitle anyone to a job, agreement or, for that matter, respect; in fact, it all but guarantees that whatever you say will be met with anything but. That’s part of the beauty of the system. Advocates of tolerance are not under some magical obligation to tolerate agents of intolerance. Once again, to answer these questions in order: you, you, go fuck yourself (I inserted “What should I do now?” as the third question).

Well, no, actually. Rios (referring to Tomas Rios, an inconsistent race-baiter I properly savaged here) has repeatedly refused to address his friendship with Bloodstain Lane (known hereafter as Shitstain Lame), asking to be removed from conversations wondering why. Lame, in an unfathomable triumph of ignorance over merit, famously copped a sponsorship deal for his Alex Jones For Dummies YouTube/Twitter combination last year (featuring such gems as this, which Mark Coleman must watch when he wants to feel better about this). This kind of backhanded ass-covering (“I don’t even follow him anymore!”) is 100% lamer than either standing by a flawed friend and explaining why or distancing yourself from an atrocious bigot and explaining why. I didn’t think I could lose respect for Tomas Rios, but if what Lame said is true, I just did.

 

Go fuck yourself, stupid.

#Dizz-gusting, indeed. “You are alleged story”, indeed. This same genius, by the way, had the audacity to doubt Brent Brookhouse – one of the few actual journalists in MMA that gives you hope for the sport’s future – regarding his reporting on the Jessica Eye situation in Texas. Jason Coles of MMA Sun did too, as did @FrontRowBrian (whose own homophobic tweets were considered for inclusion, but really, if you regard him as anything other than an occasionally useful and constantly annoying pipeline for leaks, I can’t help you) and other non-journalists. Crow was made widely available for all when the story broke and Brookhouse was completely vindicated. Word to the wise: just side with Brent. You’ll look good in the end.

 

“Drummed out [of] our ranks.” That is what should have happened. This is what should happen now. Public condemnation – brutal, forceful and relentless – is the only thing that can pierce the veil these morons have made for themselves. Expressing shock and dismay, be it genuine or feigned, at the rising rejection to their philosophy means that the bigots have either deluded themselves into thinking they hold a majority position or they have surrounded themselves with like-minded, small-minded brethren for years, creating an epistemic closure that can only be brought down by force. What Shitstain Lame’s endorsement deal represents is the equivalent of giving one of the stab-happy parking lot denizens of an NFL stadium a talk show. This is OUR responsibility – not Zuffa’s, not the AC’s, not the referees, not the judges, not the fighters, not the coaches, but the FANS. We created this problem; only we can solve it.

 

 


Derek Suboticki

 
Derek Suboticki is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at FightFansRadio.com, also available as a podcast via iTunes. Previous work includes being former editor at Head Kick Legend and Fightlinker and contributor for Watch Kalib Run and Cageside Seats.