One more win for the bad guy, and this time it’s really bad.
Chael Sonnen is known for his gimmicky interviews and perpetual one-liners, and he is generally given a pass for whatever controversy spills from his mouth.
Unfortunately, he finally took things a bit too far when breaking down last weekend’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez during a live broadcast on the FOX Sports panel:
Look, Floyd needs to keep doing what he's doing, which is fighting complete tomato cans that we've never heard of before. I've never seen anybody in the history of America get so rich and so famous off of having complete wimps throw a punch at their faces, and I know what you're saying. You’re saying, "Well, it's happened before, what about Rihanna?"
Immediately after the comment, the rest of the panel joined in with several awkward chuckles. Sonnen then turns and asks, “Too soon? Was it too soon?”
The comments made by Sonnen allude to the infamous 2009 incident involving pop superstars Chris Brown and Rihanna. Brown was charged with assault and making criminal threats to Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time.
FOX released a statement on Tuesday to Deadspin.com apologizing for Sonnen’s comments:
FOX Sports regrets the comments Chael Sonnen made during last night's edition of FOX Sports Live. They were an inappropriate attempt at humor that Sonnen acknowledges shouldn't have been made and he apologizes to anyone who may have been offended by his remarks.
It's obvious Sonnen had no ill intentions towards Rihanna in a joke aimed at Mayweather.
The problem with Sonnen's comments lies in negligence and glossing over the seriousness of domestic violence. There are plenty of individuals who either know victims or have been victims themselves, and it's easy to see why they would have a problem with Sonnen's remarks.
Sonnen always brings an interesting perspective and a jolt of life to the FOX Sports panel, but he might have to be wary of some of the things he says from here on out. Things tend to be covered with a bit more sensitivity in the mainstream sports world.
There has been no word yet on whether any further disciplinary action will be taken.