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Anheuser-Busch Urged to Drop Sponsorship of Homophobic 'Ultimate Fighting Championship' (UFC)

Bisping

BudlightLongtime gay activist Cleve Jones, Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada Chair Derek Washington, Culinary Workers Union President Geoconda Arguello-Kline,  Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Southern Nevada Co-Chair Howard Watts III, and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada activist Laura Martin have written a letter to Anheuser-Busch urging them to drop sponsorship of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) over the organization's failure to address homophobic behavior by its leaders and athletes.

Ufc-logoThey write, in part:

"Bud Light has been a major sponsor of recent gay pride celebrations in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, among other cities, as well as last year’s Gay Days celebration in Orlando, Fla.  However, we believe it is hypocritical of Anheuser-Busch to advertise Bud Light during gay pride events that celebrate diversity and tolerance, while sponsoring a professional sports organization that tolerates hateful language and anti-gay bigotry."

They also detail a long list of complaints regarding anti-gay behavior against the UFC.

Read their full letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Much of the anti-gay behavior detailed in the letter can be found here. The activists have also started a petitiion urging FOX to drop the UFC.

Here's the letter:

Oct. 13, 2011

Luiz Fernando Edmond
Zone President North America
Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
1 Busch Place
Saint Louis, MO  63118-1849

RE: Anti-gay behavior in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)


Dear Mr. Edmond,

We are writing you to raise our concerns about Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  People associated with this professional sports organization have a history of tolerating homophobic conduct that is hostile to millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people all over the world who struggle every day against bigotry and discrimination.

The following are recent examples of anti-gay behavior by people associated with the UFC:

> In recent videos, UFC light heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson repeatedly urged Japanese fans to repeat an anti-gay slur.  The fans, who do not appear to understand English, repeated the anti-gay slur at Jackson’s urging. In one video, Jackson instructed a Japanese man to say, “Goodbye, I want you to piss on my face.”

> In an expletive-filled video rant posted on YouTube.com, UFC president Dana White used an anti-gay slur, saying, “Whoever gave you that quote is a [expletive] and a [expletive] faggot and a [expletive] liar and everything else.”  He also uttered the “F” word a total of 34 times, the “S” word 4 times, and referred to a female sports journalist as a “[expletive] dumb bitch.”

> According to the Los Angeles Times, “Rampage” Jackson shouted “every conceivable gay slur” at a movie crew member of “The A-Team” who had called him a homophobic epithet.  He was also quoted in the article saying, “Acting is kind of gay. It makes you soft.”

> In a recent UFC promotional video, Michael Bisping, a UFC middleweight fighter and coach on the reality television show “The Ultimate Fighter,” screamed an anti-gay slur at his opponent.  In a media conference call, Bisping tried to smear an opposing coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” by saying that his opponent had a “gay chiropractor” on his staff.

> Joe Rogan, who does commentary for televised UFC events, recently used a homophobic slur while referring to a MMA blogger.  Rogan also to referred to an MMA blogger as a part of the female anatomy. According to sportswriter Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Rogan then wrote on a blog, “Never did I imagine that so many people would get their panties in a bunch about the use of the word [expletive] to describe a female blogger.”

> In August, UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was quoted saying that he would not train with gay students. He was quoted in USA Today saying, “What if the gay person has that malice of having physical contact with me, of staying there grappling? I would have no problems having a gay student in my academy, but I would rather not train with him.”

You can find videos and news articles related to this anti-gay behavior at the following website: www.UnfitForChildren.org

Remarkably, we have yet to find evidence that any of the UFC athletes identified in this letter have been disciplined by the UFC or its owners for this contemptible behavior. By contrast, other professional sports organizations have taken a hard stance against anti-gay conduct and have held athletes accountable through suspensions and/or fines when athletes have used homophobic epithets.

Bud Light has been a major sponsor of recent gay pride celebrations in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, among other cities, as well as last year’s Gay Days celebration in Orlando, Fla.  However, we believe it is hypocritical of Anheuser-Busch to advertise Bud Light during gay pride events that celebrate diversity and tolerance, while sponsoring a professional sports organization that tolerates hateful language and anti-gay bigotry.

We request that you stop advertising Bud Light during UFC events until the UFC’s owners make it evident to the public that it no longer tolerates homophobic behavior, and adopts and enforces a code of ethical conduct that ensures that participants in the UFC act in accordance with commonly accepted standards of decency.

We also ask you to contact us within ten (10) days of receiving this letter to discuss this further. For more information, please call Chris Serres at (702)-386-5231 or send an e-mail to cserres@culinaryunion226.org.

Respectfully,               

Cleve Jones
Community and Political Coordinator
Unite HERE

Derek Washington
Chairman
Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada

Geoconda Arguello-Kline
President
Culinary Workers Union, Local 226

Howard Watts III
Co-Chair
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Southern Nevada

Laura Martin
Organizer
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada


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Comments

  1. Fight the good fight and keep exposing these neanderthals.

    Posted by: Joey Boots | Oct 13, 2011 11:34:15 AM


  2. Great. But it's so funny to me that these "fighters" are SOOOOOOO gay. I know it's all this straight man posturing, but it's sort of like the posturing one might find in gay porn. One minute it's mr. bad ass straight cop, the next minute the inmate is plowing the his back yard.

    Posted by: dms | Oct 13, 2011 11:51:38 AM


  3. Hahahahahahahaha, funny people.

    Expecting a business will drop a sector that brings them far more profit for the sake of a niche market.

    Posted by: Lucrece | Oct 13, 2011 11:53:40 AM


  4. Is it me or is the UFC and like MMA sports just slightly less gay than male figure skating?

    Posted by: 99% | Oct 13, 2011 11:56:42 AM


  5. "Hahahahahahahaha"

    People still type that?

    Anyway, the name-calling is all part of the UFC S&M homoerotic theatre. If they didn't have the name-calling as a disclaimer, it would simply be gay porn.

    Still, it sets a terrible example for the younger fans, so, of course, I support this action.

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 13, 2011 12:27:13 PM


  6. hey lucrece-at least they're trying. what have you done recently to help gay rights?! i thought so-moron

    Posted by: gary | Oct 13, 2011 12:33:30 PM


  7. Just to add a little context, the Culinary Workers Union have long had a beef with the owners of the UFC over unrelated disputes about Casinos also owned by some of the UFC ownership. That's the real reason they have signed this letter, and run the "unfit for children" website.

    Just an FYI, the culinary workers union involvement in this issue is opportunistic.

    Posted by: Sean | Oct 13, 2011 12:48:33 PM


  8. As a big UFC fan, I do wish that the organization could be more professional when it comes to homosexuality and reporters. In some of those examples, the word gay or faggot were not intended to bash gays and lesbians, though it obviously did. Just because it is intended one way doesn't make it right to use that kind of language. Regardless, I am sure Rampage doesn't speak for the majority of fighters within the organization. There are many plusses of the social freedom and candidness that is tolerated in the UFC but on the other side of the coin, a little more respect and common sense should be exercized.

    Posted by: matt | Oct 13, 2011 2:38:22 PM


  9. UFC is very popular in certain gay quarters. They probably should be "ridden" to eliminate blatant anti-gay rhetoric, but please don't portray all gay people as pearl-clutching pantywaists who cry at the drop of a "slur".

    Posted by: ynot | Oct 13, 2011 3:56:43 PM


  10. Wow, YNOT, way to really compress your internalized homophobia and your misogyny in one stupid comment. I'm sure UFC will pat you on the head for not being one of 'those gays.'

    Unfortunately, lapdog, the people who stand up to this disrespect have the real courage here, and are helping move forward respect for our whole community, even Aunt Tom's like you. Words have power, and if you're too dumb to understand that, than maybe you shouldn't comment, because you just look pathetic and self-hating.

    Posted by: Derek | Oct 13, 2011 4:19:07 PM


  11. @99%

    yes, it's just you.

    Posted by: Bradford | Oct 14, 2011 10:31:39 AM


  12. Whats up people. I sent this tweet in hopes that somehow they find their way to Dana White, Joe Rogan, UFC fighters, and fans.
    I train at the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville, MD that is owned by one of the refs from the UFC. Recently at a DC event, Mario Yamasaki and his brother were refs during the event. The Yamasaki Academy is a great place for people of all walks of life to train. Hopefully in time the positive energy from the Academy spreads throughout the MMA world.

    http://lexx619.tumblr.com/post/11462572537/homophobia-in-the-ufc

    Posted by: Lexx | Oct 14, 2011 11:06:03 PM


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