Does FOX condone rape? Their new business partners at the UFC sure seem to!
The same week that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) went prime time last month on FOX Sports, in a reported $700 million deal, top fighter Forrest Griffin tweeted that “rape is the new missionary.” And less than a month later, during a pre-fight press conference that was streamed live on the internet, while his young son was right next to him, fighter Rashad Evans made a Penn State joke, saying, “I’m going to put my hands on you worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State.” And apparently, these things come in threes because the
day before same day Evans made his comments, fellow fighter Miguel Torres tweeted: “If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn’t mind going for rides in them. Everyone like surprises.”
The response from the UFC has been inconsistent, which is to say, almost no response at all. To his credit, Griffin did apologize on his own. And Torres was fired from the UFC after his tweets. But even that act has come under sharp criticism from the media and fans alike. To many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community and the media, the handling of these incidents only exposes the real thought process behind how UFC President Dana White handles things: It’s all about the money. As this post from The Bleacher Report breaks it down, Torres was expendable after tweeting a rape joke but Evans, who is a big draw and a headliner in the first major fight on FOX, is a big ticket, and therefore too important to discipline.
This kind of inconsistency in how White handles affairs at the UFC sends a terrible message to fans and those who look up to UFC fighters as role models! The best way to address this is to enact a CODE OF CONDUCT, which is something a group of mothers (including me) and concerned citizens rallied for on Nov. 12.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a new problem for the UFC. There have been numerous incidents in recent years of UFC fighters and management saying offensive, degrading and homophobic speech:
- UFC President Dana White in an expletive-filled rant against sports reporter Loretta Hunt, including several references to her being a “bitch” and a “whore.”
- Heavy weight champion Rampage Jackson taunts a Japanese fan and uses anti-gay slurs.
- Champion Antonio Nogeira talks in USA Today about why he’d never want to train with an openly gay fighter.
It’s time for the UFC to grow up! If they want to be in prime time like other big league sports, then they have to act like the big leagues. Major sports organizations — such as the NBA and NFL — have codes of conduct. If athletes are role models in our society, then it’s time they act like it!
If the UFC thinks rape jokes are funny, then the message is that UFC condones rape!
Tell FOX that it must drop the UFC unless they enact a code of conduct that addresses offensive acts and hate speech! Otherwise the message is that FOX condones rape!
Please sign the petition and tell all your friends!
You can also contact News Corp. (the parent company of FOX Sports) directly here:
FOX Sports/FOX Sports Television Group
10201 West Pico Boulevard, FNC/Bldg.101/5th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
NEW YORK BUREAU:
1211 Avenue of the Americas, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10036
Lou D’Ermilio, Senior Vice President, Communications
Dan Bell, Vice President,