On the same weekend the UFC saw an openly lesbian fighter win a title and celebrated the sale of rainbow-colored T-shirts to support an LGBTQ center, one of its fighters, Donald Cerrone, decided the call another a "fag."
His remarks happened in a post-fight Q&A about UFC 200, held Saturday in Las Vegas. Cerrone was discussing thje fight card with CM Punk. From Bloody Elbow:
The conversation took a sharp turn when Cerrone changed the subject to the worst fight. Here's their back-and-forth on Daniel Cormier's win over Anderson Silva.
Cerrone: "What about the worst fight?"
CM Punk: "The worst fight?"
Cerrone: "Your boy, DC. Terrible!"
CM Punk: "What?"
Cerrone: "Terrible. How are you going to give up weight and then fight like a f*g, man?"
*applause breaks out in the audience*
Not only does Cerrone utter the slur, but some fans applaud what he said.
On Sunday, Cerrone issued this apology on Instagram:
Update: The apology was deleted, but it said: "Earlier today, I said something that was offensive & I'm truly sorry. I've got so many friends and fans in the LGBTQ community who I let down today. I can and will be better because I respect the community and equality matters! #WeAreAllFighters." The UFC told me: "Cerrone absolutely stands by his apology – he deleted the post because he felt the discourse in the comments section was becoming derogatory and was counterproductive to what he was trying to communicate (support and respect for the LGBTQ community)."
UFC officials told Outsports that the organization was "incredibly disappointed in Cerrone's comment at today's UFC Fan Expo and would be meeting with him to discuss the severity of the situation."
UFC officials added that the organization is a "proud advocate for equality and Cerrone will be educated on the issues impacting the LGBTQ community, particularly related to the sensitivity surrounding his choice of words today."
In the Instagram post, Cerrone is wearing one of the "We Are All Fighters" shirts that benefit the Las Vegas LGBTQ Center. As apologies go, it's a good one but Cerrone should not be let off that easily. In 2010, he called an opponent a "fag" who got the "bitch gene," so he has a history here.
The UFC not only needs to educate Cerrone, he needs to face some sort of discipline. His slur showed the sport still has a way to go before all its fighters embrace diversity.