My avatar has nothing to do with this. I bet on Cerrone.
I agree, calling out slurs against gays, in these cases, is an attempt to emasculate an opponent, not to insult gays. The intention should be considered when meting out disciplinary action. But in this world, we are held responsible for our actions first, with our intentions being a secondary consideration. The implication of these slurs is that if you are gay you are a weak person, a wussy, a pussy, a sissy, a bitch, a girly-man, etc, and whether they intended to insult gays or not, these fighters have to be held responsible for the impact of their words.
What people say in private is sacred and protected. I am guilty of using slurs to get a cheap laugh from friends. But what fighters say in their role as public figures has a larger impact. At the very least, it hurts the UFC's image. It annoys people who are sympathetic to gays. It insults gays. It gives truly hateful people a false sense of legitimacy. It influences the children who look up to the fighter, whether that means encouraging a heterosexual kid to use the slur, or crushing a gay kid's self-esteem.
Certainly, it makes the fighter appear ignorant and unprofessional. The fact that I believe Nate and Michael 100% when they say they do not hate gays, necessitates that I also believe they are either woefully ignorant of the points mentioned above, or are too insensitive or irresponsible to restrain themselves in spite of knowing better. In 2017, neither are a good look.
Fighters may be far removed from the liberal, PC college campuses, and can use these slurs without hating gays. Yet, people make broad, sweeping assumptions about entire groups of people based on a few individuals. Some believe blacks are criminals, Muslims are terrorists, Jews are greedy, gays are weak. It would, therefore, be both naive and hypocritical of a fighter who uses these slurs to expect people to investigate their intentions when deciding whether to label them homophobic.
It does not take a formal education or a genius to consider these points, and decide to restrain oneself in public from using slurs. That they have not considered or do not consider important these points, reflects poorly on the fighters. That the importance of professionalism and etiquette was not adequately impressed upon them by the UFC reflects poorly on the organization. That apologies, rationalizations, and excuses are being made for fighters who use slurs, indeed, reflects poorly on the fans.
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