If Matt Brown would have worked at any other company in the United States and said that his female co-workers should perform their job duties topless he would most likely be fired or be punished via suspension without pay. So why did he get away with no more than a slap on the wrist from the UFC?
Earlier this week UFC Welterweight Matt Brown was the subject of controversy after saying on his podcast that “if I’m [going] to pay $60 for a pay-per-view to watch women fight they should at least be topless.” After such a foul statement you would think Brown would be in for some sort of punishment. Nope, not in the UFC, well at least not this time.
The UFC had a huge chance to make a statement by publicly suspending or fining Brown for his comments but decided against doing so. They’ve made strong statements about fighter conduct in the past when fighters like Matt Mitrione and Miguel Torres went overboard with insensitive comments but this time the company only opted to “talk” to Brown. The UFC simply let down their entire roster of female fighters and its female fan base.
If you are a female fighter on the UFC’s roster you should be furious. Your profession was made out to be worthless unless you showed up nude to your job. All the hours you put into the gym to make yourself a world class athlete were devalued by one of your peers and nothing happened to him.
This isn’t the first time a male UFC fighter has said a similar statement about women’s MMA. In 2013 outspoken featherweight Conor McGregor tweeted about his desire to have a threesome with Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Instead of suspending McGregor, the UFC likely just helped craft an apology on behalf of the Irishman.
While McGregor’s tweet was most likely in good fun and bad judgment, Brown’s comments are far more damaging to the UFC in the long run. Not only did Brown degrade the UFC’s female fighters to simple sex objects but he also tore apart a significant product of the UFC brand.
Since the UFC introduced the women’s division, there has always been a very loud section of fans who simply think the women are not up to par. Brown’s comments only reinforce the notions of those fans and encourages them not to spend money on the company he works for. Brown thinks that some of the best female athletes in the world need to be nude to get your hard earned cash. Brown’s ultimate offense was his comment about the females fighting nude but he also criticized the flyweight division stating that the 125 pound males just are not built for knockouts. That’s not exactly what you’d want an employee to be saying about your company’s product.
Imagine if you worked at a high-end restaurant in Los Angeles but thought the food was mediocre at best. One day you’re on twitter and decide to tweet “My work has the worst food ever, if I’m going to pay 30 dollars for the plate it should be worth it somehow.” The next day you go into work and your manager has caught word of your tweet. Do you think you’d still have a job after saying your employer’s product is not worth its price tag? The answer to that question is most likely no. Brown flat-out devalued his company’s product and was not punished for it.
If the UFC wants to be honored as a prestigious sports entity like the MLB, NBA, or NFL they must implement a much more strict fighter conduct policy. The UFC has to make a point to its entire roster that inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated. As soon as a statement like Brown’s comes out they need to act as quickly as possible with either a short suspension or fine. That has yet to be the case as the UFC only dishes out serious punishment when human rights organizations come calling for change.
As a fan of the UFC I want to see the organization flourish and be all that it can be. It will only reach those heights when it has a roster of professional athletes who act like professionals. Let’s hope the rest of the UFC roster takes note of Brown’s actions and does not let something like this happen again.
This article is not the opinion of SciFighting.com. It is only the opinion of one writer on the website.