One of my friends growing up had an uncle named Frank. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but my friend would always tell stories about him-How rude he was to his wife, how he always yelled and complained, how if Frank didn’t like where the family was eating, he would get up from the table and pout it out in the car, etc.
Uncle Frank, according to my friend, was the kind of person who always seemed to say the right words, but never meant them. He would talk about how much respect he had for people, and then in the same breath speak poorly of them once their back was turned. Uncle Frank wouldn’t know the meaning of the word sincerity if it bit him square in the ass.
In short-Uncle Frank was an asshole.
So fast-forward 15 years. My friend gives me a call to let me know that uncle Frank fell asleep at the wheel of his truck and died when said truck veered off-road and slammed into a cement retaining wall. Needless to say, I was surprised at the news and attempted to offer my condolences. But before I could even finish my first sentence, while trying to find something,"nice" to say about his uncle, my friend stopped me.
He said, "I get that you mean well, man. But please don’t."I asked him, "What do you mean?"
He calmly looked at me and said, "Just because someone dies, it doesn’t automatically make them an angel. It doesn’t automatically make them a saint. It just doesn’t. That’s one of the main problems today. People aren’t sincere; they don’t keep it real."
He went on; "They think they’re helping, but they’re not. Because even though the words sound nice and everything, the fact is they’re just not true. As crazy as it sounds, lying about what a great person someone was is actually more disrespectful than just telling the TRUTH about how they really were."I saw what he meant.
Fast forward to two Saturdays ago. The leg break heard around the world. Almost immediately, the showers of praise came from all directions, saying how tragic it was. What an honorable mma fighter Anderson Silva was, and what a tragedy it would be if he never got to fight again. And even seemingly louder, a claim that now he somehow was the nicest guy ever.
Amidst hearing all this, although it goes without saying that it’s always sad when a fighter suffers this type of injury, all I could think to myself were all the times I saw this man blatantly disrespect his opponents and the sport to which he belongs; his conduct during the Cote and Maia fights; Repeatedly refusing to shake his opponents hands during a match; The way he conducted himself in interviews and at the weigh-ins with exaggerated expressions on his face like this;
And of course the outrageous way he conducted himself in the first fight with Weidman. What we've seen a million times; the arms down; the taunting, etc., etc.
A horrific injury doesn’t change any of that, or any of the other innumerable examples I failed to mention of him acting like this. It just doesn’t. Keep it real folks-The fact remains;
Uncle Frank is still an asshole.