(How can you accuse Rampage of being anti-gay when he trains with the gayest camp in MMA?)
“I am a black man from Memphis Tennessee who grew up in the south where I faced discrimination my whole life,” he wrote. “I know very well how it feels for someone to judge you for something you have no control over so having gone through that I know how it feels. I took a vow that I didn’t even have to say that I would never discriminate against anybody for anything other that how they treat me or others around them. So not only DO I NOT HATE gay people, I actually accept them for who and what they are.”
Jackson said he wasn’t aware he was being interviewed when the interviewer was present when a crew member and friend of Jackson’s poked fun at Jackson with a poster of Jackson promoting a friend’s gay bar.
“When I did this interview the interviewer witnessed my friend giving me s–t and calling me gay,” Jackson wrote. “I was so embarrassed and didn’t want my ego tainted because I’m a big tough fighter. So yes, I got quite defensive and I’m known to be the best shit talker in my business and a fighter in all aspects in life. So I made fun of him back, calling him gay.”
That does sound pretty different from how it was reported by Chris Lee of the LA Times in the article that set this whole controversy up:
At issue: a movie crew member had wandered in on this final day of principal photography and — whether jokingly or not — called the muscle-bound movie star a homophobic epithet. Jackson had responded with barely contained fury. He threw the guy out, shouting him down with every conceivable gay slur. “You’re a punk!” Jackson finally bellowed.
He claimed the crew member’s intent had been to provoke a physical assault. “That … wanted me to punch him so he could sue me,” the professional body-slammer explained, using a certain 12-letter curse word that he lets fly often in conversation — a word that has no business appearing in a family newspaper and, for the sake of this article, will from here on out be substituted with “individual.”
I think he means ‘motherfucker’, and the fact that he has to dance around that word kinda shows you what vaginal sensitivity the guy apparently has when it comes to naughty language. Now I don’t want to defend Rampage’s consistently boorish behavior but let’s not get all up our own asses about how much of a homophobe he is. If we’re gonna have a discussion about Quinton Jackson’s use of salty language and offensive jokes then we might kinda sorta have to have a discussion about MMA as a whole because it’s pretty hard to cover the sport without noticing that EVERYONE throws around anti-homo language.
Ben Fowlkes talks about that in this article right here, and just to buttress it up with more examples, here’s just a quick smattering of improperly anti-gay language from across the MMA twitterverse: War Machine calling Mike Dolce a fag. Jamie Varner calling someone a fag. Michael Schiavello calling some bartender a fag. And here he is again talking about a gay flight attendant “who looks like he packs elton john’s fudge”. Here’s Miguel Torres calling Kurt Pellegrino a gay sailor. And Kenny Florian thinks soccer and rollerblading look gay. And that’s just a tiny corner of a tiny area of MMA over the past few weeks.
Let’s face it: however we feel about it, ‘fag’, ‘homo’, and ‘gay’ are still acceptable insults in today’s society. If you have friends who say fuck, they’re also liable to tell you what’s gay and how big of a fag you are. Do these people hate the gays? They might, but there’s still a huge numbers gap between people who use ‘gay’ as a casual adjective and those that actively dislike and discriminate against gays.
We obviously all understand that equating homosexuality with lame and crappy things basically implies that homosexuality itself is lame and crappy, and that’s not a positive thing. I’m down with GLAAD trying to shame people into thinking twice about their language since it’s a small push back against the current societal standard and the only way things will change. But let’s not go overboard and paint people with the homophobe brush because they throw around words everyone else uses on a regular basis. Why not concentrate on the bigots that admit their hate freely?
Since you’d need to register for Rampage’s website to see his post on the subject, here’s the full post at MMA Convert.