If you've followed MMA for the past couple of years, you've probably noticed that it doesn't get a fair shake with most mainstream media outlets. ESPN's Around the Horn and PTI have given print media journalists a soap box to criticize the sport from every angle.
Heck, Sports Illustrated just published their first magazine feature on a mixed martial artist after over 20 years of the sport's existence.
Most of the negative comments involve ground fighting in some capacity. The clever journalists comment that the sport is more brutal than boxing because fighters aren't given time to recover after a knockdown. The uninformed will fall back on the ever popular "human cockfighting" criticism.
And then there's Seth Davis.
Davis is a college basketball writer for Sports Illustrated and an on-air NCAA analyst for CBS. He's a prominent member of the sports community and has a big enough platform that he can sway the opinions of the masses.
Today, Davis joined countless others with negative comments about the sport. Whereas most use a bit of tact when discussing the subject, Davis bull-rushed in and made what can only be described as a regrettable statement.
In a now deleted tweet, Davis stated "looking on news sites showing pictures of two muscular bloody men in a homoerotic fight pose....Sorry I'll never get this UFC thing."
He followed with another tweet saying, "maybe I'm a prude on this but I'm also a dad. I don't mind my sons watching boxing, but I wouldn't want them watching a UFC bout."
Anyone with half a brain can see the faux pas. Davis' initial tweet spurred numerous people, including myself, to respond to the homophobic comment. That he somehow can attempt to justify it makes it even worse.
Davis' entire thought process is that shirtless men fighting on the ground is homoerotic and therefore not suitable in his household. Luckily for the Davis boys, their father is totally OK with them watching a sport with such a high rate of concussions that there is a term for it called "dementia pugilistica."
To his credit, Davis did end up deleting the tweet. However, I'm sure that was more an attempt to avoid a messy situation where his employment could be terminated as opposed to choosing words poorly.
A quick search for his Twitter handle makes it very apparent that Davis is currently taking it from all angles as people accuse him of being a homophobe.
Now Davis is really a place holder for a much greater issue. Sure, I find it concerning that Davis' immediate reaction is that MMA is somehow homoerotic. It's also a concern that his doesn't feel comfortable with his sons watching MMA but has no issue with them watching another dangerous combat sport.
I understand that MMA isn't for everyone. Last night's title fight between Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit was bloody as the sport gets. It's hard to stomach that kind of gore and I have no problem with someone making the decision to watch something else.
But really, it's 2012.
It's absolutely crazy that an educated adult with children could be so irresponsible with his words.
Stay classy, Seth Davis.