November 10, 2011
Some athletes have longed for the day when the media wouldn't filter their comments. It's a great thing to have direct contact with fans, but there's also a downside. An athlete who sends out a tweet that the media may normally sanitize or ask for clarification about, hits the Internet unedited.
UFC fighter Forrest Griffin found out the hard way yesterday when he made a comment about rape.
Today, Dana White explained what Griffin's intent was.
"It wasn't a joke ... I contacted Forrest and Forrest is a mess now about this whole thing. Believe me, take it from a guy who has been in this situation. What happened was, Forrest Griffin said he woke up that morning and turned on his television and the whole thing about (Joe) Paterno and what's going on over there at Penn State, he said he literally switched the channel to another channel and they were talking about a woman who had been raped. The third channel he went to was another story about rape. His thing was that 'rape is the new missionary,' like it's vanilla, like it's normal, when you change the channel it's on every channel," said White.
White's explanation makes sense, but he also suggested that rape commentary is a risky proposition in 140 characters on Twitter.
"[...] you don't go out on Twitter where you can only do so many characters and say something like that. Then once everyone started attacking him, he started attacking back on Twitter. It's one of those situations. Let me tell you what man, I'm the first guy who always says 'people will make mistakes' and this and that will happen. Forrest Griffin is a very, very good human being," said White.
Welcome to the world of expanded coverage for MMA. We certainly don't want the fighters to be afraid of interaction with the fans, but this is a good lesson that certain topics are taboo and tasteless.
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