Social media can be a wonderful thing. It's a great networking tool that makes this big, big world a much smaller place.
But there's a flip side to that coin. It's also a tad too easy to have something go wrong at your place of employment and rush home to tweet about your misfortunes. And if you don't have much of a filter to begin with?
That's as good as a death sentence.
Which brings us to Muhammed Lawal, who was released from his Strikeforce contract last night (March 27, 2012) for remarks he made on his Twitter account regarding a certain member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
The short version: A chairperson named Pat Lundvall asked Lawal if he speaks English and can read, Lawal thought it was one of the most disrespectful things he had ever been asked, he was punished severely by the commission, and he quickly tweeted that Lundvall was a racist bitch for asking him that question.
He later deleted the tweet but the damage had been done and the powers that be at Zuffa felt it was time to say goodbye. But considering others have tweeted just as insensitively in the past, does "King Mo" feel as though he's being treated unfairly?
BloodyElbow.com got the answer:
"It is what it is. Of course, I want to fight for Strikeforce and fight for Zuffa, but if they want to cut me for what I said, then I can't take it back because it already happened. I have never been asked in such a condescending way if I could read or speak English like that. I did something wrong, so I can't really say I'm being treated unfairly. I don't know if it was excessive to cut me.
"Right now, I just want people to understand that I went in there respectfully and that I'm not playing the race card. I'm too old to play the race card. I'm established on the West Coast now and since I've been out here, I haven't experienced much racism. I've experienced some stereotypes and small prejudices here and there, but other than that, no, I haven't experienced too much, compared to when I was in the South. The woman's comments reminded me of times when I experienced racial insensitivity from other people.
"Zuffa made a decision just off what was said on Twitter. I don't know if they care about what happened. I'm pretty sure they didn't hear any of the audio. They just made a decision off what went down on Twitter. I'm pretty sure Keith Kizer and certain people at the commission are mad and I didn't mean any disrespect to Keith or the rest of the people in the commission. I just felt disrespected by that one person that asked if I could speak or read English."
He's clear as can be that he wasn't trying to play the race card ... even though he flat out called Lundvall a "racist bitch" for asking him a question that was, admittedly enough, rather disrespectful.
Either way, the situation was handled poorly by Lawal from the moment he left the hearing. It's a tough break, too, considering all the other issues the former Strikeforce champion is currently dealing with.
On top of his nine month suspension and $39,000 fine, "King Mo" has had to deal with up to 16 knee surgeries this year alone. To that end, the time off is not only desirable, it's necessary. But when he's recovered and ready to come back, will it be under the Zuffa banner?
How he handles this situation moving forward will likely determine that. So far, he's on the right track.