Friday, December 9, 2011

Dana White Releases Miguel Torres for Rape Joke

Yesterday, UFC President Dana White released bantamweight Miguel Torres after the fighter posted a joke about rape on his twitter page.  Although White has never been one to police his fighters for their language or rhetoric, the UFC President elected to drop Torres because of the statement.  Torres posted a quote from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises."  Torres' released occurred just one day after Rashad Evans, UFC light-heavyweight, tweeted a joke regarding the Penn State pederasty scandal.  Evans was not fired.

Rape is never a joke.  Like many women, I have several very close friends who were victims of rape and I don't condone any use of the reality of rape for humor or shock.  What is striking about this case is White's sudden reprimand of Torres given his consistent leniency towards fighters in the past.  Citing a 'boys-will-be-boys' mentality, White has allowed a discourse of homophobia and misogyny to reign in the UFC conglomerate, creating an expectation of machismo in all MMA venues.  When Forest Griffin, a product of the UFC's Ultimate Fighter reality show tweeted "Rape is the new missionary" last month, he was given a mere slap on the wrist.

I like Miguel Torres as a fighter; he is exciting and raw.  I also like Forest Griffin, who seems down-to-earth and funny.  Yet I find Griffin's joke disgusting and unforgiveable, while Torres' just seems stupid.  But the UFC has a great deal of money invested in Griffin, so the man, like Evans, remained while Torres was released.  Both men should have been censured or even fired.  Singling out Torres is strange considering how quickly White laughed-off Evans, Griffin, Michael Bisbing, who called an opponent a "faggot motherfucker," and many other UFC fighters who have made offensive remarks. 

I believe that the firing of Torres reeks of scapegoating.  White has a reputation of being permissible and misogynistic, so he needed at least one example of his harsh censure of a fighter.  The public's criticism of White's constant pardon of Joe Rogan's use of the c-word or his own blatant homophobia, White can respond, "but I fired Torres for joking about rape."  Nice alibi, Dana.

The words of Dana White:
"Come on. We're all human beings. We all make mistakes sometimes. It doesn't mean that the UFC is bad and we're unfit for children and all this other stuff," he said. "Tell you what: Out of the 375 guys, we've got a few lunatics; some guys that are nutty; and then we've got 300 and something that are incredible, awesome human beings who are inspirational to kids and adults and whoever else is a human being. So I don't like playing all that (baloney). I just don't do it, give a (crap) what the Culinary Union has to say or anybody else that wants to come out and says negative things about us. Because anybody that's been around the sport long enough knows it's not true."

I don't know if Miguel Torres should have been fired when his fellows were given a free pass.  But I do know that Dana White is a tremendous douche.  

Read the USA Today story here

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