As you might know from the last time Nazis came up, I think they’re fucking scum and enjoyed every moment of Inglorious Basterds as they were shot, beaten, burned, mutilated, and scalped. The world is not black and white, good and evil. But Nazis are pretty fucking close to pure evil and people who try to downplay or ignore that fact are goddamn morons who deserve whatever fascist future develops because of their ignorance and spinelessness.
So with that setup, let’s talk about the latest Nazi to fight in MMA. Toni Valtonen has been fighting on HDNet for M-1 over the past year and a half, and (amongst other tattoos including “Born to Hate” and “White Pride”) he’s also got a swastika on his shoulder:
Valtonen’s tattoos are not exactly a secret — there are plenty of photographs in which they’re readily apparent (see here and here and here for examples) — but they’ve been largely ignored [FL note: unnoticed would be a better word] by MMA fans and the media, in large part because M-1 has required him to wear a patch over them while he fights.
But the patch over his swastika tattoo came off during a fight that was televised in the United States on HDNet, and the network later acknowledged on its Inside MMA show that it received a complaint from a viewer about it. HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon declined to discuss the matter further, saying via e-mail, “We did a segment on Inside MMA this week. Enough said.”
Contacted by FanHouse, Valtonen’s promotion, M-1 Global, issued a statement saying, “M-1 does not allow Mr. Valtonen to fight with any of these tattoos exposed. Before each of Mr. Valtonen’s fights there are patches placed over his tattoos. M-1 regrets the fact that there were still tattoos shown when the patches got loose in the fight. By this statement M-1 wants to state that we do NOT in any way support the views of any individual in particular.”
Valtonen could not be reached for comment by FanHouse, but M-1 passed along a statement from him saying, “I had a crazy and rebellious youth, I made some faults in my past and I am not proud of these marks. I regret that I ever had these tattoos made. Nowadays I am a dedicated family man and professional athlete, and I am not involved in any politics whatsoever.”
Okay, first off: tattoos are covered up easy enough. If Valtonen was telling the truth about his Nazi days being behind him, then all it would take is a trip to the tattoo parlor and it really could become a thing of the past. The fact that he doesn’t do this makes me think he’s a fucking liar. Hey, if you walk around wearing a banana suit, don’t be surprised if someone calls you a banana. Don’t act like we’re the idiots in this equation.
Past that, what the fuck is up with HDNet basically saying “Tune in to HDNet to hear what we think of this wacky situation”? They should be fucking ashamed to have allowed a swastika / white pride wearing fuckface on air instead of trying to get viewers to tune into their stupid show.
HDNet is still new at all this so I will cut them a little slack, but M-1 Global really should know better by now. This isn’t the first time they’ve been accused of fascist ties. Fedor has had some Matt Hughes type moments, Roman Zentsov has trained neo-nazi groups, and there’s ” target=”_blank”>video of Aleksander Emelianenko hanging out with extreme right wing leader Dmitriy Demushkin. That’s in addition to some highly suspect tattoos of his own like Gott Mit Uns.
I don’t want to turn this into a witch hunt or anything, but I think it’s pretty important when shit like this comes up that we give it a hard motherfucking shove back. If M-1 and HDNet don’t want to be associated with Nazis, then perhaps they shouldn’t feature them on their fucking shows.