On Thursdays, Administrative Editor Jordan Breen welcomes a member of the mixed martial arts media into “Press Row” on the Sherdog.com blog. This week, Breen is joined by MMAFighting and Yahoo Sports’ Dave Doyle.
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor sparked controversy this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland, not just for his rambunctious, non-credentialed cornering of teammate Artem Lobov, but for a postfight video that surfaced in which “The Notorious” one repeatedly uses a gay slur to refer to Lobov’s victorious opponent Andre Fili. The video was quickly scrubbed from UFC social media accounts, but in the wake of the footage, the promotion and McGregor himself have remained mum on the topic.
Breen and Doyle dig into how notions of “locker room” talk have infected MMA, the bizarre and vitriolic ways in which some MMA fans have come to both defend McGregor while decrying a “social justice” media conspiracy and the fact that McGregor and UFC parent company Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel have fashioned themselves allies for gay, lesbian and trans people in the public spotlight, making their silence all the more disconcerting.
The two also discuss how the “sky is falling” mentality among MMA fans has changed as fighters’ antisocial misdeeds become more public, what the UFC’s public stance should be as a sports franchise in these situations and its implications for a sport and promotion actively pushing women’s divisions, which are increasingly populated by gay, lesbian and trans athletes.
Grab your credential and get a seat in “Press Row.”
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