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Quotes of the Day: Anderson Silva Drops Truth Bombs About Racism, Homosexuality, and Police Brutality

(This guy? Gay? Who would ever dare imply as much?)

Anderson Silva was about as soft-spoken a champion — both figuratively and quite literally — as the UFC has ever had (except for maybe the guy who replaced him). He rarely used his words as a marketing tool, he refrained from trash talk even in the face of extreme duress, and he spoke through manager Ed Soares more often than not. On the rare occasions Silva did speak, it was usually to troll the MMA media with talks of a superfight, his retirement, etc., which is hard to blame him for when you realize just how misinformed the average MMA journalist is.

In a recent interview with Trip magazine (via Fightland), however, Silva spoke candidly about such topics as the racism he experienced growing up in Curitiba, homosexuality in MMA, and the wave of police brutality against minorities that has struck his native Brazil (among other places). While we’ve always know Anderson to be an incredibly intelligent man, the interview shed some major light on his much concealed past and how it has shaped him as a forward-thinking martial artist today.

Just take the answer he gave when asked whether racism was worse in Brazil or the United States, for instance:

Racism is bad anywhere on the planet…I tend to say that conflict is inevitable in man, that color is just an excuse to unleash that madness, that lack of respect people have for one another. I’m very well set on this racism thing. We’re living in a moment in which racism does not fit in the world. 

For the record, my vote is that it’s worse in America. (*dodges beer bottle from man screaming “Giiiit out!”*) 

You can check out the majority of the interview over at Fightland, but here are the major highlights:

– On news of police violence upon black people, specifically Claudia Silva Ferreira, who was dragged on asphalt by a police wagon in Rio de Janeiro

It was a horrible episode. As I’m from a military family, I think there was a lack of preparation from the police. What we can do is open our eyes and pay attention to the things that are happening every day and try to change that. Protests get us nowhere, we get Carnaval soon after, and then everything’s all right. There’s no point in protesting, if we’re going to have a holiday for the World Cup, and then everything’s all right. We’re entering an era in which we have the opportunity to make changes. It’s important for people to have the conscience to exercise their rights, to protest without violence and aggression, to have objectives. It appears very vague when people are victims of something, they make a fuss in the media and then let it go. Other cases of violence and racism get passed over. I think it’s more important for people to stop, take a step back and observe how much they can change the country, laws—how much better of a country we can have.

– On prejudice towards homosexuals in mixed martial arts

I don’t think there’s prejudice, but there’s a lot of homosexuals in mixed martial arts. There are a lot of them who haven’t yet come out. 

[If they were to come out,] nowadays it’s so silly to not express your feelings. As long as you respect people’s spaces, and respect their limits. You have to live your life in peace and no one has anything to do with that. 

I would train with a gay man. As long as he respected me, it’s all right. I don’t think much of it. The fact that guy is gay doesn’t mean he’s going to accost you. He can be gay, have a relationship, live among guys who aren’t gay. He can do whatever he wants with his private life. 

– On vanity and getting picked on in the gym: 

They tease me. Sometimes people think I’m gay. A lot of people have asked me if I’m gay. I answer, “Look, not to my knowledge. But I’m still young, it could be that in the future I’ll find out that I’m gay. I take good care of my things, I put everything in a bag, I use soap, I put on a cream after training. People think it’s capricious. To each his own. Doesn’t mean you’re more man or less man, more gay or less gay. 

A doff of the cap to you, Anderson, for your progressive and well-balanced views on such controversial issues — although I must disagree that using cream after training makes you anything other than a gay. That’s right, A GAY.

Now that we’ve gotten all that positivity and insightfulness out of the way, I’d like you Taters to answers these questions as if it was Nick Diaz being interviewed. Funniest comment gets a somethingsomething.

-J. Jones

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