MMA: Follow Up
June 18, 2011
Apparently I need to explain my previous "Tapping Out" commentary because it seems a large number of those who read it, did not understand it. Since posting the article I've been inundated with email and facebook posts accusing me of being a hypocrite for taking a stand to no longer support MMA as a fan, and not also boycotting pro-wrestling. It seems people think I am required to treat all sports and business exactly the same regardless of my relationship with them, or the result of those actions.
"Result of those actions" is the key point here, because I actually put thought into what I do, especially when it comes to a subject like drug use, which I am so passionate about. I can not treat pro-wrestling and MMA the same because they are NOT the same to me. I have an almost 30 year relationship with pro-wrestling, 21 years of which I spent as a part of the industry; I run a wrestling school and many of the kids I train at SWA will continue to be a part of this business for many years to come. When it comes to MMA I have but maybe 5 years under my belt as a casual fan, with maybe 1 or 2 as a fan who spends money on the industry.
The purpose of my boycott was not to avoid following an industry whose participants take steroids, because unfortunately that is almost impossible. My purpose was, and always will be, to voice my anti steroid message, and try to at least make a small difference.
Throughout my entire career in the wrestling industry I have fought the anti-steroid fight. Whenever possible I've used my standing within the industry to get a platform from which I can voice my anti-drug message. I've done interviews on TSN, ESPN, CNN, as well as numerous other outlets, speaking out against steroid use, trying to make any difference I could. I have lectured every student that has walked through the Storm Wrestling Academy's doors about the pitfalls of drug and steroid use, and done everything with in my power to convince them to make the right choices in their lives. I'd like to think that my continued involvement in pro-wrestling has a far greater positive effect on the industry, than turning my back on it would. I still very much love pro-wrestling and while it is far from perfect, I do believe it is a cleaner business than when I broke into it and I hope to continue to contribute to the industry's progress in that direction.
MMA is a completely different animal to me. I have very little invested in the MMA industry; while I enjoy it very much as a fan, it is not a love or passion of mine, nor do I have any internal influence over it. If I was an MMA veteran and ran my own MMA School and could mentor young fighters and help educate them against drug use I would; but I do not have that platform in MMA. The only means I have at my disposal to voice my disapproval of how their industry is handling the steroid issue is to withdrawal my financial support, which is what I did.
I don't care if you think I'm over reacting, but calling me hypocritical, I believe is unfair. For the record I know my actions will have virtually no effect on UFC business, but I do what I can. I'm not condemning the entire sport nor asking anyone to join me in my boycott, I'm just taking my own personal stance because it's what feels right in my gut. I have been blessed, or perhaps it's cursed, with a very strong moral compass, which I make every effort to keep pointing straight and true. While at times those efforts seem futile, it is those efforts that make me who I am and allows me to sleep well at night.
From atop my high horse,
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