clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ESPN, Disney, UFC all silent as Sean Strickland and his followers share horrific anti-gay messages never before seen in pro sports

Sean Strickland’s followers love to bury their ‘homophobia’ in their sculpted male god. And, it seems, he loves to take it.

UFC 297 Official Weigh-in
Sean Strickland and fans melt as fast as a snowflake when asked questions that force any form of introspection about past anti-gay comments.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Sean Strickland officially installed himself as the most thin-skinned snowflake fake in men’s pro-sports history when he couldn’t handle a couple questions from a thoughtful, well-meaning MMA writer ahead of UFC 297.

Make no mistake: Strickland is a physically strong man with a great body. He has poured countless grams of protein and hours in the gym into building a body fit for a king of the gays... or, sorry, the “straights.”

No doubt Strickland looooves having men adore him for his body, stripping down to almost nothing with the disguise of “weighing in” and taking to the octagon.

He looooooves having guys worship his body. He loves being praised by his mostly “straight” fans who fall over themselves to adore his strong, sculpted body like gay men smelling the nectar of a gorgeous athlete like Sean Strick...

Sorry, I got lost there in a gay circuit party....

Strickland is a powerful athlete who centers his public persona on his sports excellence.

He hasn’t lost a match in over a year, running off three straight wins and obtaining the UFC Middleweight Championship.

At a press conference this week, he launched into a vile attack on LGBTQ people, ranting for several minutes about the weakness of men who accept their gay sons, among other horrible comments.

It’s not like he loves having his body adored by “straight” men who fawn at him and follow his every move, who would bend over backward (literally or figuratively) for him any time he might be in need...

Oh, sorry. Right. UFC 297. “Straight” guys fighting each other. Right.

It’s so easy to confuse the cult-like fanaticism of Strickland fans with a gay circuit party or a gay bathhouse, as the dynamics are pretty much the same:

Adonis man is obsessed with his own body and parades it around for other men to worship, as they cheer and push each other out of the way to get near him.

Like, totally straight.

What might be the most crazy element of Strickland’s totally nuts comments about how he would feel having a gay son, the trans community, the nation of Canada, the future of the world, and a bunch of other stuff has been how “straight guys” have kowtowed to his vain, homo-centric insanity.

When Outsports reached out to ESPN for comment about his clear, obvious homophobia — his next fight is live on ESPN+ PPV — the company said they “are not commenting.”

My personal translation: “Give us your money and don’t you dare ask us about the horrific, hateful comments from the athletes who are making us said money, especially given how other parts of our company are catering to the LGBTQ community.”

That seems — to me — to be the message.

Outsports considered sharing some of the absolutely horrific anti-gay messages being shared on social media by Strickland’s fans. We decided they went too far, even for us to share.

Even if Strickland does play into straight guys’ homoeroticism to make money, satisfying closeted fantasies about the body of a man who adores being worshiped and abused by other men...

Oops, there I did it again. Sorry.

Disney — “Hi Walt!” — has an athlete they are promoting for the company’s own financial gain, all while ignoring — and this is quite literal — the most anti-gay, homophobic comments Outsports has ever heard from a professional athlete.

ESPN, Disney and UFC: “Nah, we’re good.”

What we’re left with is a bunch — and I’m talking hundreds if not thousands — of social-media messages and emails directed at Outsports — and me personally — making crazy talk about grooming children for sex, and AIDS killing gay men.

Thanks UFC and Disney!

Yet forget about the gay and bi fans of UFC, I feel most badly for out gay athletes like Raquel Pennington, who had to listen to Strickland wax poetic about her hard-fought women’s title fight being — and this is Strickland’s awful words himself — “two little cats fight.”

I think about Pennington — both gay and a woman — and what she has had to endure listening to this brainless schoolyard bully demean her and her entire profession.

And then she and others have had to watch UFC and ESPN say nothing.

Nothing.

As ESPN makes overtures to women’s sports with WNBA and NCAA deals, you have to wonder if the heart and checkbook of ESPN and Disney is all-in on this.

This Strickland debacle says, pretty clearly, “No.”

UFC 297 takes place this weekend. We’ll see how much sway the homophobic playground bullies have, and how far companies like ESPN and UFC will go to stop — or elevate — the anti-LGBTQ and misogynist hatred of the athletes and fans they promote.