This afternoon (August 10, 2013), Bellator welterweight contender War Machine made some highly offensive tweetsregarding rape. He said that he raped his girl friend, Christy Mack, because she wanted to make him "wait" while they ran errands. He lated sent out an apology, but only after trying to pass the comments off as being taken "out of context".
I reached out to Bellator and Spike TV to see if they had any comments or if any action would be taken against War Machine regarding his tweets. I received an email with a statement from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney this evening.
I agree with those who found Jon’s earlier statement to be offensive and inappropriate. And, while his public apology ("I tweeted something earlier that was stupid, insensitive and wrong. Rape is never something to joke about ever. I sincerely apologize") surely does not excuse his statement, it does evidence his recognition of the seriousness of the situation and his realization that what he said was offensive, ignorant and hurtful. Since the day I entered this business, I’ve believed that my job was to treat our fighters like human beings and not like property. Human beings make mistakes and sometimes say stupid things.
I’m surely prepared to take action in warranted situations as evidenced by recent promotional contracts we have terminated with well-known, popular fighters who have committed assault and/or who have broken the law. But, in this situation, I remain hopeful that Jon will learn from his mistake, redeem himself and become a better man for it and I would like to give him that chance.
While I appreciate the response, I can't say I'm not disappointed. I hoped that there would be repercussions for the tweets. Maybe I'm being unfair, but had a UFC fighter made similar comments, they would be fired immediately. At the very least there would be a punishment.
But, at least it's nice to know that Bjorn Rebney has recognized how much of a nightmare War Machine's recklessness can actually be.