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Maybe Someone Should Tell Michael Bisping it’s Not Okay to Tweet Stuff is “Gay”

Pay attention, now. This will come up again.

I’ll be honest: I tried not to cover this. I figured that this was something that would go away on its own, and it’s best not to draw attention to something that may hurt the sport. Plus, after reading reactions to “cunty-gate”, I realized that the majority of our readers simply do not care about issues like this. But after an entire day’s worth of Michael Bisping calling things “gay” on his Twitter account, I feel that the issue needs to be addressed before it gets blown out of proportion.

It started off as a response to a tweet by Chael Sonnen, who himself is not a big fan of Michael Bisping. In a rare miss, Sonnen said that his fight with Brian Stann will be “Iron Man vs. Captain America”, and promised not to wear the suit if Stann didn’t bring the shield. Bisping seized the opportunity to mock Chael Sonnen with the following tweet:

You know, it’s almost like Zuffa should implement some kind of training that teaches fighters what they can and can’t say in public. Just as the PC police started to notice his remarks, Bisping made sure to quote Professor Wikipedia:

And then his most recent one, for good measure:

Okay, the guillotines line made me laugh. I’ll give him that before continuing.

I want to be as easy on Michael Bisping as possible, because in no way does he come off as a homophobe. In no way does it appear that he was trying to get under anyone’s skin except Chael Sonnen’s with his original remark. In fact, I’ll go as far as agree with him on the “bitches being offensive to women and dogs” joke: America as a whole is too sensitive with certain things. There’s just one problem: None of that is relevant.

Remember when Kobe Bryant used a homophobic remark towards an official earlier this year? The NBA immediately fined him and, in a joint effort with the GLSEN, sponsored a series of PSAs discouraging people from using the word “gay” as an insult. Even though the majority of basketball fans were either indifferent towards the situation or supportive of Kobe, David Stern recognized that the media, and more importantly, the NBA’s television partners and sponsors, would not tolerate such behavior. Whether Kobe is homophobic, whether most basketball websites would have bothered covering the offesnive comment if ESPN didn’t make a big deal about it or whether “gay” can still be used as a synonym for “happy” is irrelevant.

Now that the UFC has a deal with Fox, it’s safe to say that the sport is mainstream. While this is phenomenal for the growth of the sport, this also means that fighters are going to have to learn to play by the mainstream’s rules if they want to keep enjoying the mainstream’s attention. It doesn’t matter than most MMA sites aren’t covering this or stories like it. We now more than ever have to worry about the way that mainstream sports outlets such as ESPN portray our sport. Also, notice how the influence of Fox executives is already being felt? I’m willing to bet they wouldn’t be too happy to read Michael Bisping tweeting that things are “gay” any more than they would like to read Ryan Howard or Michael Vick tweeting that.

Again, I understand that Michael Bisping’s comments really aren’t that bad. In fact, I’d say that his comments are nowhere near as bad for our sport as, say, Mayhem Miller’s assault charges or Mike Whitehead‘s sexual assault charges. But that’s not the point. The bottom line is that we are a mainstream sport now. It’s time we start acting like it.

- #1CaseyAnth – SethF

Cagepotato Comments

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BaghdadBob- August 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm
I usually despise Bisping but here he has a point. It really is fucking gay that people bitch about something being "gay." And this article obsessing about whether saying something is "gay" will hurt the sport is a bit pathetic.

Grow up, people. There are serious fucking problems in the world right now (as always, but more acutely at the present). No one except Canadians and a few self-interested academics give a fuck if someone calls something "gay." Jesus.
Fedor Penn- August 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm
Why is Bisping even talking? Chael would murder that guy in the ring. It wouldn't even be a fight. Bisping can only jab and run like a pussy.
rearnakedchickenchoke- August 22, 2011 at 11:48 am
"The bottom line is that we are a mainstream sport now. It’s time we start acting like it."

I liked how someone else commented "as mainstream as two guys fighting in small gloves can be." It's not the fucking NBA or NFL and I hope it never is. IT has the ability to go global, yes, but it is NOT made to be a family sport. So fuck this oversensitive shit.

Do I think the UFC should have a talk with its fighters about what's ok to say or not? Yes. Maybe even fine them when they bring bad PR to the company? I guess. Do I want to read an article on every MMA site whining when a word is used that the NBA would fine over? No. Enough already.
TellaTruth- August 22, 2011 at 9:40 am
Could really care less.
enough_already- August 22, 2011 at 4:35 am

EXACTLY!!! At what point did the only option become compromising to the idiots because, well, that's what the "main stream" wants us to do?! The "main stream" bitched about the language in heavy metal music for years, where did that get them? They bitched about the language in rap music for years, has that become any less popular? No, because both of those groups basically said, FU, we don't WANT to be politically correct. I get your point, Seth, about the necessity to compromise on some things in order to be accepted by the main stream sports press but, as my user name states, enough already. Has it really sunk in yet that you are a sports writer and you actually just wrote an article and posted it on an MMA site discussing how it was wrong for a fighter to use the word "gay", for god's sake??!!! WTF
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RwilsonR- August 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... eh Seth? Way to be part of the problem.
Sully- August 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm
You know, I'm not even a fan of Bisbing, but going as far to say that it's not okay to call things "gay" on twitter, you gotta be fucking kidding me. This is America, we have the liberty of free speech and he can say whatever the hell he wants to. He's a fighter, not an elementary school teacher. Fuck this article and fuck cagepotato.
JoLo1- August 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm
pretty sure Kobe used a lot more hostile word than "gay:
via. saku buttspank submission- August 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm
The NBA obviously supports homosexuality. Which tells you alot about the sport of basketball.Anyone offended by the word gay is gay.... so fuck them.Be proud to be gay ,or shut the fuck up.The only reason GAY people(and i use the term very lightly,without any respect for faggots) are offended is because their deep seeded guilt for slerping up manjuice agitates them.
RSparrow- August 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Gay people call things gay all the time... give me a break. Gus Johnson wearing lipstick = gay. Everyone would say that and it'd be ok.
lk- August 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm
if you won't use all the gay shit I promise I won't call blacks niggers, get it?
Jackal- August 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm
this whole article is gay.

next, let's watch mma fans discuss the best way to make those smooth curvy lines when baking apple pie.

seriously. gay. wtf. its a word. if you don't like it, stop sucking dick.
Hinarf- August 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm
Maybe the gay people should grow up and stop being offended like children. I've gotten over, "retard." If you let a word become more than a word, that's your problem. I have gay friends that call shit gay, so I feel I must be in the right part of America.
IronClad- August 21, 2011 at 10:30 am
That little English tart Michael Bisping will not get a fight with Chael. Bispings shit talking is so weak too. Chael would fucking shred that English tart to pussy bits in both a war of words and fighting. I would gay love the SHIT out of watching it go down.
jhonendirge- August 21, 2011 at 10:29 am
you misspelled offensive.
IronClad- August 21, 2011 at 10:21 am
That video really was gay as pie.
intercept440- August 21, 2011 at 10:16 am
@stopdrinking pee.

i disagree that using the word gay is homophobic when used as an insult..

webster define's insult as followed

Definition of INSULT

intransitive verb

: to behave with pride or arrogance : vaunt

transitive verb

: to treat with insolence, indignity, or contempt : affront; also: to affect offensively or damagingly

nowhere in there do you see the words fear or hatred, which is common in the definition of homophobe, or homophobic.

insult are designed to preduce a prescribed reaction.

anything with a phobia is being scared of it in classical definition..
Look people, it may not be right but people are going to say what they wish for there own selfish reasons, grow some thicker skin and move on, spitsbing is trying in an odd way to hype himslef which probably as i said before is going to make more people dislike him...
now lets talk about something meanigful. like how bad is gsp going to kick the hell out of diaz, or maybe the awesomeness that is going to be the sonnen vs. stann fight
unmutual- August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am
Next time please try harder in not covering (gay) stuff like this.
stopdrinkingpee- August 21, 2011 at 9:32 am
@ctownhood: I think those are very different contexts. Athletes and other public figures are held accountable for this kind of speech (as in the Kobe example). Seth's comment is also applicable here.

@RWR: Just because Seth didn't find Bisping's use of the term offensive doesn't mean there weren't a lot of other people who did. There are times when a word like "faggot" or "cunt" or "nigger" gets used in a way that probably is not intended to injure, but those words are so charged that a number of people will be unsettled by them anyway.

What Bisping should be criticized for in this instance is using the word "gay" in a way that reinforces the idea that being gay is something negative. Using "gay" as an insult is itself homophobic, even if that's not where Bisping was coming from.
intercept440- August 21, 2011 at 9:29 am
@shonuff i dont lol... it's comical actually
Vanillagorilla69- August 21, 2011 at 9:28 am
Maybe the MMA crowd wants to be different than the NFL, NHL crowd? What if were all grown ups and can handle words in the English language??
Deathcheat7- August 21, 2011 at 9:19 am
Whoever wrote this article is kind of cunty tbh. The article is gay too.
dranokills- August 21, 2011 at 9:15 am
Wake me when this GAY shit is over and we can move on to more important things.
Sho Nuff- August 21, 2011 at 8:22 am
@intercept440 What? You said people could say whatever they wanted and you didn't give a fuck.