Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum recently got into a war of words with Tony Ferguson during a media luncheon that prompted a heated “Vai Cavalo” to hurl homophobic slurs at “El Cucuy” — who is of Mexican descent -- in Spanish.
Werdum repeatedly called Ferguson a “maricon,” which in Spanish literally means “fa88ot.” In a tweet sent out by Werdum a day after their squabble, he apologized to the LGBT community and anyone he may have offended by using the term.
Maricon is common word in the Spanish culture and I do not mean to offend anyone in the LBG community and if I did I'm apologetic #heeyy— Fabricio Werdum (@FabricioWerdum) September 29, 2017
While that is commendable, in his tweet, Werdum stated that the word “maricon” is a “common” word in the Spanish culture, which in actuality, isn’t true. Perhaps he meant it’s used often by men — and some women -- who are trying to insult one another, or friends who say it to each other jokingly.
But “common” as in it’s okay to use it, it is not. The word “maricon” is as “common” as using the word “fa**ot” in English. It’s simply offensive and trying to make it okay by saying it’s a part of Spanish culture is false. If you throw that term at a gay (or straight) person who speaks Spanish, most will be insulted.
It’s a “common” slur.
I get it, men and women say things in the heat of a moment, and when testosterone is flying around, things get out of hand, things are said, etc. That’s understandable, but trying to say a homophobic slur is “common” in one specific culture is like someone trying to excuse Donald Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” comments by saying “all men talk like that,” hence, making it okay.
Do I think Werdum is homophobic? I don’t know and I don’t care, to be honest, that’s his prerogative. But one thing that I would advise Werdum to do is to not try to make his comments okay by saying that a homophobic slur is “common” in the Spanish culture.
Don’t take this as an attempt to bash Werdum, as we have all — myself included — said our fair share of idiotic and offensive things. All I’m saying is, just apologize if you’re going to apologize without trying to justify it, it’s not that hard.
Fabricio will return to action at UFC 216 on Oct. 7, 2017 when he faces off against Derrick Lewis in Las Vegas, Nevada.