I'll be honest. Matt Hughes is by far not my favorite fighter, and there are many issues that he and I disagree on. But when I saw the picture on Bloody Elbow of him holding up a shirt from a white supremacy group, it just didn't seem right.
It wasn't. The shirt was given to Hughes to sign at an autograph signing, and if you've ever attended one of those, you know that they can be like a cattle call. The celeb signs, smiles and then moves onto the next fan. Hughes probably should have looked a little more closely at the shirt he was signing, but that is where his culpability ends.
After the picture went public, the leaders of the "White Boy Society" said that Hughes held up the shirt because he was asked, and the society wanted to show it off for MMA fans who are also part of the group. It wasn't meant to imply that Hughes endorsed the group. Right. You take a well-known conservative in Hughes, throw him a white power shirt, post that picture on the internet, and then try to tell us that you weren't trying to make a statement with that picture? The group makes my skin crawl as it is, but using Hughes in this way is reprehensible.
At least Hughes is not alone. Hockey star Steve Yzerman developed a relationship with a child he believed had cancer. As it turns out, the child was fine. Someone called Toronto Blue Jays' manager J.P Ricciardi and pretended to be Adam Dunn, asking for a trade. A crank call was also made to a women's basketball coaches' conference call.
Take heart, Matt. We've all screwed up. In the future, maybe you should just sign copies of your book, or your
doll action figure.
Photo via Bloody Elbow