Luke Thomas has an interesting thingy up on his whatsit where he talks about Kimbo Slice and racism. I don’t want to put words into his mouth … okay, yes I do. He basically says that a lot of the hate going out towards Kimbo Slice is based around racism.
Now first off, I’m gonna agree with Luke to a degree. He points to a Sherdog forum where a bunch of retarded teenagers make me ashamed to be a part of the human race. But so what? Are MMA fans racist? Does Paris Hilton have herpes? YES! YES WE DO. Have racist feelings in the MMA community. Not herpes. Well maybe you do. But I don’t. It sucks (the racism part, not being herpes free), but that’s the truth.
Like it or not, there’s a huge segment of the public which is going to judge Kimbo Slice based on the fact that he’s a scary looking black dude who’s famous for kicking people’s asses on the internet. He sports the thug look, he spews the thug talk. The guys at EliteXC picked him up specifically for that reason. You can’t help but be affected by the marketing they’re doing – that’s kinda why they do it.
So while I agree that racism and prejudices might shape the way people react to him as a character and perceive him as a person, I have more than enough reasons to dismiss his hype as a fighter that are very colorblind. As far as I’m concerned, Kimbo is up there with Brock Lesnar as a guy with great potential but no real proof that he’ll manage to translate it to MMA. I’ll trade Brock’s wrestling pedigree for Kimbo’s proven ability to thump some ass any day, but they’ve both still only got that one piece of the puzzle each. MMA is fucking complicated, and if you wanna make it in the big leagues you’ve gotta be well rounded. Brock Lesnar failed his qualifying exam last weekend. Will Kimbo do the same?
If you wanna argue the race card on this one, lets wait until he beats someone significant in the cage. If Luke’s assessment is right and it’s racism and not a general distain for an overhyped unproven fighter, then we’re going to see the same number of people hating on Kimbo no matter what.