Mixed martial artist Forrest Griffin recently won an award from the Ultimate Fighting Championship for being one of the "most creative" fighters on Twitter. Unfortunately, that "creativity" includes rape jokes.
Bloody Elbow captured Griffin's tweet from yesterday: "Rape is the new missionary." Griffin then added insult to injury by being a jerk to people who objected — when one follower wrote, "Yeah just unfollowed @ForrestGriffin bc he said rape is the new missionary, inappropriate," he shot back, "keep it to yourself nobody cares." He later claimed that "following him is a privilege." He only apologized when a woman tweeted at him that she was a rape survivor. Now he's deleted the offending tweet and all others from that day, saying "I'm sorry I'm gonna go ahead and put myself of twitter restriction until next week."
In the past, the UFC has claimed they have no control over fighters' public statements. Bloody Elbow quotes UFC president Dana White: "How do you really think that we could possibly police 375 fighters and try to control everything they say?" But as Kyle Symes of Bleacher Report points out, "If the UFC is going to reward its' fighters for tweeting back to fans, they need to punish their fighters as well." He adds, "All the major sports leagues have fines in place for their athletes using twitter in the wrong way. The UFC needs to start implementing policies like that if they want to truly be mainstream." Agreed.
Actually, last night wasn't the first time Griffin treated a rape joke. On Nov. 2, the day after his creativity award was announced, he wrote, "Forrest Griffin was acquitted of rape because the jury couldn't see what he did the rapeing with," and "If Forrest Griffin raped you you'd apologize. If forest griffin were to rape you would have to console him afterword. 2 on rape just cus." These don't seem to have gotten the same attention as his missionary line, but they're still not funny. However, the jokes do reveal a major basis of Griffin's Twitter humor: self-deprecation. He's also tweeted, "When Forrest Griffin sings his daughter lullabys she goes to sleep just so he'll shut the fuxk up" and "For Forrest Griffin to count all his failures he'd have to be better at math." Clearly, Griffin's comfortable acknowledging some of his mistakes. Now he needs to recognize that treating rape as an opportunity for laughs is one of them.
Forrest Griffin's Jokes About Rape Demand UFC Action [Bloody Elbow]
UFC: Forrest Griffin Picks The Worst Time To Cause Attention Over Tweeting [Bleacher Report]