I don’t know about you, but I’ve been noticing a strange trend where Republican politicians are being accused of being racist bigots based on innocent comments like “We don’t need no ragheads in the statehouse” and “White businesses should be allowed to discriminate against black people.” Now poor Chael Sonnen is being targeted by liberal uber-blog The Huffington Post for his twitter comments saying Brazilians are part of a ‘piglet tribe of savages’ that worship a ‘Demon effigy.’
I see this last tweet as racist and xenophobic and was wondering how a candidate of a major party for the State Legislature was getting away with this. So I reached out to some Oregon press asking them why they haven’t challenged this candidate on this type of talk. A reporter I emailed said he would take up the story. A couple of days ago he emailed me and said that Sonnen denied that he ever made the statements and that the twitter account is a fake one.
As a whole I don’t care what fighters say, as long as they are professional in the Octagon, but a professional politician should be held to much higher standards. Chael Sonnen has proven in the UFC that he is a great fighter. In politics he is proving to be just another politician trying to have it both ways. I guess we will see in November if this ultimate fighter can win political office by being an ultimate faker.
Note that this isn’t exactly a coordinated attack – this is one of their many writers putting up an opinion blog … the same guy who wrote that strange article dividing UFC 114 across racial lines. I think we’ve got a new fan of the sport on our hands! As for Sonnen’s claims that it wasn’t him twatting those tweets, Ben Fowlkes buries that possibility pretty easily:
Sonnen did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Twitter account, but at the very least the UFC seems to be under the impression that it’s his account, as @sonnench appears right between @ChuckLiddell and @SugaRashadEvans on the UFC’s Twitter follow list.
What’s more, an account claiming to be the “Official Campaign Twitter” of Sonnen (Twitter.com/VoteSonnen) is following only one other Twitter user, and you can probably guess which one (hint: it’s not the Iron Sheik). That tends to make one think that either this alleged online impersonator has been very busy creating and then barely maintaining Twitter accounts, or else he’s so good that he even fooled Sonnen’s campaign.
In this conversation with MMA Fighting’s own Ariel Helwani (skip to the 45:40 mark), Sonnen identifies @sonnench as his personal Twitter account. So, case closed on that debate.
Say what you will about these comments in the context of fight hyping, but they aren’t too smart to say when you’re running for public office. Sonnen of course is perfectly free to say what he wants (in some areas of the country, stuff like this will actually help your polling), but when his comments end up making him look like a racist then he’s gotta lie in the bed he’s made for himself. But while ‘racist’ certainly is the first thing that comes to mind when reading some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth, I’m not sure if it’s actually the best word to describe Chael.
How about ‘American Supremacist’ instead?