Through emphatic statements shared by a spokesperson for Meta, Mark Zuckerberg is aggressively denying a Friday New York Times report describing an incident in which the Meta CEO was choked unconscious by an Uber engineer during a jiu-jitsu match. Per the Times, a referee had to halt a game because they feared Zuckerberg had been knocked out due to the snoring sounds he was making—an anecdote that was apparently humiliating enough for Zuckerberg that his team had to circle back and deny it.
“At no point during the competition was Mark knocked unconscious. That never happened,” Elana Widmann, a spokesperson for Meta, told The Daily Beast in an email published Sunday. Widmann said a fellow Meta employee witnessed the match firsthand and that the referee in question “apologized to Mark and his coach after the match for prematurely calling the match.”
Zuckerberg’s jiu-jitsu coach apparently also intervened to set the record straight on the billionaire being cucked, claiming the referee had made an incorrect call because he’d misheard the sounds emanating from Zuckerberg’s body. What the ref had perceived as snores from Zuckerberg, his coach said, was actually just “effortful grunting.”
“After publishing our story, I heard from both Mark Zuckerberg and his Brazilian jujitsu coach. They both insisted that Mr. Zuckerberg had *not* lost consciousness, and the coach said that the referee had mistaken his effortful grunting for snores,” NYT reporter Joe Bernstein said in a Saturday tweet. Glad we got that sorted out—“effortful grunts” are certainly much, much less embarrassing than snores.
According to the original Times report, the incident took place early last month at a jiu-jitsu event in California. There, Bernstein reports that Zuckerberg “defeated an Uber engineer,” which sounds like a huge achievement, and “won two medals,” but then “lost consciousness.” The referee told Bernstein he halted a contest that Zuckerberg was in the midst of when he heard Zuckerberg “start to snore,” as this is “a sign of someone who has passed out in a choke hold.”
“This is something we are trained to know,” the referee said. But in what I suspect is a play to not scare off other billionaires from taking up the art of jiu-jitsu in their abundance of spare time, he added that Zuckerberg was a good sport who was “enjoying the moment.”
Sure, Meta is bleeding money and recently announced a plan to lay-off 21,000 workers, mostly because no one’s all that interested in Zuck’s baby, the legless Metaverse. But I have to vaguely respect the fact that, for the time being, Zuckerberg is opting to have the shit beaten out of him instead of going to space. In a world brimming with the excess excretions of billionaire pissing contests, as the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos spend their days yachting and tweeting or measuring their phallic rockets against each other’s, here we have Zuckerberg: taking sweaty mirror selfies in his camo vest, physically dueling Uber engineers, getting choked out in front of Times reporters, and challenging people to race him up little hills. And in doing so he’s finally achieved what Musk so often strives for, though never with success: true comedy.