Is Racism the Elephant in the UFC room?

I know race is a particularly unpopular and unpleasant topic in the United States.  Most honest people know that it is an unresolved issue but are hesitant to acknowledge or rationally discuss it. 
 
Any time that I discuss the topic I am vilified more than usual; I've grown accustomed to it.

Each and every time that I view a UFC presentation I have an uneasy feeling.  I'm always left with the impression that I just paid to watch a drunken frat party; images of beer bongs and guys passed out in the bushes with their pants pulled down creep into my mind.

The crowds are overwhelmingly raucous white males.  The few black males in attendance are commonly professional athletes and entertainers...which as we all know don't count.

The official faces of the octagon are Dana White, Goldberg, Rogan and Buffer.

Until recently, none of the ring card girls were black.  And I hope that the lovely Chandella doesn't frequent popular MMA forums and chat rooms because the things that were said about her being added to the line up by the MMA faithful were unusually harsh.

Besides Herb Dean the only black men that are routinely seen within the octagon are a few of the athletes themselves.  Let's talk about that for a moment.

Name me one top black UFC fighter that doesn't routinely get booed or chanted against during their fights: Silva, Evans, Rampage, Jones...I'm waiting.

Fans have their favorite fighters...for whatever reason.  I get it.  But being compelled to offer racial slurs speaks to something a bit deeper and darker.

The racial slurs that are hurled during the fighter walk-ins make me think of a European football stadium...complete with nazi-themed. bedazzled T-shirts 

Don't tell me different because I've been there and so have you.

I won't even begin to discuss the vitriol that is unleashed towards black fighters on internet discussion forums...truly sickening.  It is amazing how honest many people become when they can hide behind the anonymity of a screen name.

No one likes to see their favorite fighter get their ass handed to them but it quickly becomes racial when a black guy hands it to them. 

The anti-Anderson Silva pre-fight boo's and rhetoric was deafening at UFC 101 in Philadelphia just before the arena fell silent along with fan favorite Forrest Griffin.

At UFC 126, the chants of "BADER...BADER" didn't last long after Jon Jones left Ryan gasping for air.

The cheers for Franklin vs. Griffin shook the arena.  These are two all-time, fan favorite fighters that are both no longer relevant in the title mix. The crowd cheered Bader, Franklin and Griffin and booed the most talented relevant fighter, Jones.

Part of the popularity of the UFC seems to be related to the domination of the white male wrestler.  I think it may be seen as one of the last sporting bastions of white male superiority. 

Simply put.  The UFC/MMA ,in large part, appeals to a young, white male demographic because young, white males are very good at it.  They can cheer for their own, drink with their own and feel good about it when their guy wins.

Do I think that the UFC and/or Dana White are racists?

Nope...not at all.

Does Dana understand his fan base (for better or worse) and markets to them like any successful businessperson...even if it appeals a deep-seated human deficiency?

Yes sir!


 

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