In an industry that prides itself in who is the stronger more brutal fighter it is a true breath of fresh air when the head of a promotion can come out openly and succinctly to represent an ideal for behavior outside the cage.
It’s no secret that many of the fighters we watch in the cage often have checkered pasts, but the usual response to allegations typically involves “no comment” or there are “two sides to every story”. The list, of course, goes on. However, Scott Coker is already flexing his PR muscles wasting no time in making what many decent people would agree is the “right” decision.
First by releasing the socially volatile fighter known as “War Machine” after the first allegations surfaced regarding his alleged attack on his ex girlfriend Christy Mack on Friday. Then by further clarifying the matter with TMZ by stating very succinctly,
“We have a zero-tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence.”
Bravo Mr. Coker, bravo!
Martial Arts has never been about pure violence, chest thumping, or the unadulterated abuse of a weaker individual. It’s a tool, a tool for self defense, for learning, physical conditioning, and even a philosophy for life. To set clear standards on what sort of behavior is and is not appropriate for athletes who undoubtably affect the perception of social norms is not only a wise thing to do but it is also the “right” thing to do.
Mr. Coker’s zero tolerance policy at Bellator should be something the entire industry takes note of. We forgive far too much when it comes to behavior of our top athletes and we should demand more of them, especially when it is our children who watch these future fighters grow into stardom. It’s certainly time we had some role models we can confide in and this first step of Mr. Coker’s may be just the thing to help bring that to the world of Mixed Martial Arts.