Shoot me in the head now. From the Toronto Star, a story entitled ‘Man feels bullied by UFC tweet’:
Bullying is bad and you shouldn’t do it, UFC fighters told Toronto students at a recent Rogers Centre event.
“We’ve all been picked on or made to feel small,’’ Sam “Hands of Stone’’ Stout told middle and high school students Tuesday, appearing in support of the UFC’s community service program.
But Dana White, the Las Vegas-based president of the mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship, wasn’t in the audience.
Maybe he didn’t get the message.
When a person tweeted his complaint about Canadian UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre being injured and unable to fight, White responded Wednesday on a Twitter public feed: “I hope you get kicked in the nuts twice today.’’
When he saw that, Darius Ross, a 43-year-old Toronto freelance editor, jumped in. “I saw that coming from the mouth of the UFC and that was my gut reaction,’’ Ross said, explaining why he tweeted: “This is why UFC cannot be given a platform in Toronto schools.’’
White then tweeted: “Then why do you follow me? Hide ur children crybaby!!! I will be in Toronto in two hours!!!’’ (White appeared at a news conference Thursday to promote a Saturday UFC fight at the Air Canada Centre.)
Ross then tweeted: “Should I consider that a threat?”
White responded: “omfg, lol, u are weird.’’
White could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Ross, who occasionally watches UFC fights, follows White on Twitter mainly because he often announces UFC events.
Many others jumped into the public feed with tweets, almost every one insulting Ross, some making homophobic comments. Almost all would qualify as designed to make Ross, in UFC fighter Sam Stout’s words, “feel small.’’
Ross, who is straight, said the comments from White and others could certainly meet the criteria of bullying. But he said he’s a confident man “with a fully formed personality’’ and is immune to this sort of “trash talk.’’
“But my point is . . . how do you square that kind of banter from the public face of UFC with taking a moral high ground position, standing on a podium and lecturing kids on how to behave? I just don’t see how the UFC can lecture kids on bullying when bullying seems to be such an intimate part of MMA (mixed martial arts) fan culture.’’
The Twitter feed is also accessible to young teens and preteens, and the language and attitudes set a “terrible example,’’ he said.