Warning: The homophobic message from a UFC fan posted below is deeply offensive and graphic. Please be advised.
When Dana White was presented with a question after UFC 297 about the rabidly homophobic messages of one of its star fighters, Sean Strickland, White defended the homophobic language of one of his stars as free speech and did not criticize the actual homophobia itself.
Of course, Strickland’s comments — claiming he’d be embarrassed by a gay son — are as upside down as you’d expect from someone who’s been hit in the head too many times.
Since White’s green light for homophobic language, UFC fans — and even sports writers like Jason Whitlock — have taken to social media, direct messaging and email to send LGBTQ people some of the worst messages — directly or indirectly — we have ever seen in 25 years of advocating for LGBTQ acceptance in sport.
This in a DM on Instagram from an anonymous coward sending me a seemingly physical threat, among other horrific anti-gay language and lies:
This is only one of the dozens of cowardly private, anonymous messages sent to me by people who seem to be fans of UFC and Strickland, all sharing some of the most horrible anti-gay messages and slurs I have ever seen in my life.
There have been hundreds of these messages sent my way, calling me a “pedophile,” an “infection” and other language, some of which has been inspired by Strickland in particular.
A bunch of the cowards, of course, quickly blocked me after sending their messages. Shocking, I know.
Another of the people adding their seemingly nonsensical opinions about this is this woman who seems to claim, in an attempt to attack both the MMA journalist and me, that there is some push on behalf of the LGBTQ community to undermine an understanding of consent to sex.
Kid you not:
One of the funniest parts of the reaction has been a bunch of the “Mensa candidates” following the lead of Strickland, White and UFC mistaking me for the journalist who originally asked Strickland the questions.
It’s unfortunate that White and UFC won’t simply say “Hey, we totally disagree with Strickland and all of these homophobes.” Instead, White seems to have attacked a journalist for doing his job and has, instead, staked his ground standing by Strickland’s right to express himself (while previously banning fighter Matt Mitrione for expressing himself).
My best guess is, with White and UFC choosing to not condemn the opinion that Strickland has the right to express, this isn’t anywhere near being over.