Yet another ultimate fighter tweeted a rape joke this week. And unlike the last guy who tried that, he's actually been fired.
In November, UFC fighter Forrest Griffin drew criticism for tweeting "Rape is the new missionary." But UFC president Dana White says Griffin explained that he was actually making a comment on how disturbingly common rape has become — apparently satisfied, White let Griffin keep his job. On Wednesday, however, fighter Miguel Torres tweeted, "If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises." White says that unlike Griffin, Torres had no explanation — he was just making a tasteless joke. As a result, White fired him. The UFC head tells SI.com,
[T]here's no explanation for that. There's absolutely nothing I could say to make any sense of that. And the fact that he even thinks that's funny or that's a joke, it disturbs me. It bothers me. Again, you're dealing with a guy that's a smart guy, that owns his own business, that's been one of the top fighters in the world forever. And I cut him today. He's no longer with the UFC.
White also responded to outrage over fighter Rashad Evans's recent threat to ex-Penn State wrestler Phil Davis. At a press conference, Evans told Davis, "I'm going to put my hands on you worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State." White said that when he confronted Evans over the statement, the fighter was contrite: "it was the stupidest thing he could have said and he absolutely agrees." Since he sincerely apologized, White says he won't be fined or fired.
White's rationale seems to be that as long as fighters show they're truly sorry, he'll give them another chance. This is reasonable as long as they actually learn from their actions — and as long as other fighters recognize that jokes about rape and child abuse aren't acceptable. Unfortunately, Evans and Torres don't appear to have learned from Griffin's example — Torres said he hadn't even heard about Griffin's tweet, even though it was big news in the UFC community. Maybe now that he's been fired, other fighters will finally get the message that rape isn't funny.
UFC Cuts Miguel Torres Over Rape Joke On Twitter [MMA Torch]
Dana White Responds To Rashad Evans, Miguel Torres Insensitive Comments [SI.com]
Dana White Discusses Why He Released Miguel Torres Over Tweet [MMA Fighting]