Antonio Nogueira's Homophobic Remarks Are Disappointing to Hear

Aaron KellerstrassCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2011

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Noggy.  Nogs.  Nogster. What’s going on buddy?

I am not going to come down on Antonio Nogueira for his silly homophobic remarks. I am sure the politically correct internet thugs have already taken him to task for saying he wouldn’t want to grapple with a gay fighter in a recent interview for UOL Esporte.

I’ll just say that I am disappointed in the lovable Gargoyle. I don’t think there was any malice behind what he said, so ultimately who cares. But it brings up some interesting issues regarding homosexuals in the UFC. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

A few years ago I was a groomsman in the wedding of two of my best friends. Standing up for the bride was one of her closest friends, who happens to be a gay man. I am not sure what the correct term would be; I guess maybe Bridesman. 

Anyway, being the only one on the groom’s side, who wasn’t a raging homophobe, I was asked to walk with the "Bridesman" down the aisle. It was no big deal. He’s a friend too, and it’s not like we were going to have to slow dance afterward (although we might have, I had a lot of tequila that night).

The jokes came, and I took them.  I even laughed at most of them. It really wasn’t that bad. I felt worse for the "Bridesman," who had to forever be immortalized walking next to my chubby ass in matching khaki pants and ruffled white pirate shirts (it was a beach wedding).

Go Nogs!
Go Nogs!

So we did the "Man-March," and everything was fine. No one laughed and it wasn't at all humiliating.

It is absolutely ridiculous to think that in the modern world it would go any other way.

This brings me back to Nogueira. He was quoted as saying to UOL Sports (translated from Portuguese): "I have no prejudice against the gays, but I wouldn't train with someone who's gay. I have no malice, I don't take our physical contact as (something) sexual. But what if the gay person has that malice of having physical contact with me, of staying there grappling?”

I have to say, this made me giggle.

First of all, whenever someone puts “the” in front of the group they are talking about it is a bad sign. Try doing it without sounding homophobic or racist, it can’t be done. I’ll give him a break on that one though, since it is a translation.

Second, the idea that some gay student is lurking in the shadows of Noggy’s gym, just waiting for a chance to rub up against Noguiera is pretty funny. Nogs, not to be cruel, but there are no worries, none at all.

No one is going to try to “stay there grappling,” although god knows there is probably a website out there as we speak dedicated to all things Nog. (Resisting urge to Google “Nog Porn”)…

Third, what makes you think you haven’t grappled with a gay fighter already? How would you know? It is not like the guy is going to enter the gym to “It’s Raining Men” while wearing a pink singlet and feathered boa.

Dana White already addressed this issue two years ago, according to MMA Fighting, and said the right thing, that it would be no big deal for there to be an openly gay fighter in the UFC. 

I tend to agree with him. Having played sports in a very racist city, I can say that all of that stuff vanishes when you are competing against someone in athletics. 

I saw profound and idiotic off-the-field racists grow to respect the guys they were playing against, and this seemed to carry over into their lives. Having close contact with another group of people makes you realize the one truth that goes beyond everything else, which is that we are all just humans.

So maybe it is time for Nogueira to grapple with a gay fighter. Maybe he should grapple the remaining living members of the Village People in a vat of Jell-O while John Waters films the whole thing and releases it as a campy romantic comedy.

Maybe if he did Nogs would come to the same simple realization as the knucklehead racists on my high school football team. 

If not, at least learn not to make these kinds of bonehead remarks in the press, otherwise you open yourself up for smart-asses like me to talk about your steely glare. The way you look deep into your opponent's eyes during a full mount.  Your strong, yet yielding rear naked choke.

So ciao for now Antonio “Stay there grappling” Nogueira, I hope none of your opponents whisper sweet nothings in your cauliflower ear.