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Thursday, May 18, 2023
MRC Gives Violent Athlete A Pass For Loving Trump, Hating Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center regularly rages against athletes who talk about politics -- but only if those political views don't agree with those of the MRC. (See: Brittney Griner.) For a glimpse of how the MRC treats athletes with conservatively correct views, here's an April 10 post by Jay Maxson:

Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship 287 event in Miami will likely be remembered far more for its politics than what happened in the octagon. With former President Donald Trump in attendance, ultimate fighting fans gave him a huge ovation and chanted “USA!” Trump fan Jorge Masvidal, a 20-year UFC star who lost his fight and immediately announced his retirement, praised the former president and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Fans chanted for the USA when the ex-president stood and waved to them. UFC fight audiences are also no friend to President Joe Biden, and they affirmed that sentiment as well. 

As for the UFC fight card, Masvidal suffered his fourth consecutive loss, to welterweight rival Gilbert Burns. After his loss, he praised the ex-prez and Florida’s governor, during an interview with Joe Rogan. Pointing to Trump, he said:  

"I wanted to say, greatest president in the history of the world sitting right there. I love that guy. 

"We also got the greatest governor of all time here in Florida. Let’s keep Florida free, a red state. And let’s take back – you know who, Let’s go, Brandon motherf***er … replace him." 

The “Let’s go Brandon” chant is a direct insult aimed at President Biden and actually means “F--- Joe Biden.”

Trump previously tweeted his support for Masvidal, calling him a “Great fight Champ!”

By contrast, an April 23 post by Maxson cheered former NBA coach Phil Jackson for criticizing the NBA for bein, in Maxson's words, "ridiculously woke," approvingly adding that "Jackson said politics should stay out of the game because “it doesn’t need to be there.” Indeed, Maxson used the word "woke" seven times in this post as well as in the headline.

Masvidal's political rant appears to have earned him forgiveness by Maxson for bad behavior. Maxson waited until the very last paragraph to note that "Masvidal had also gotten into previous legal trouble when he attacked rival Colby Covington, another Trump supporter, and seriously injured him." By contrast, Maxson has been much more willing to criticize bad behavior; a Feb. 27 post cheered right-wing sports guy Jason Whitlock for blaming a "culture of death" for an incident in which a Alabama college basketball was allegedly linked to a murder, which Whitlock blamed on "racial idolatry" and "gang culture" that allegedly hates police. Maxson further huffed regarding the incident in a March 13 post:

It was one of the ugliest, most disgusting, abominable moments in recent sports history. An Alabama fan attending the Southeastern Conference (SEC) men’s basketball tournament wore a shirt stating, “Killing our way through the SEC.” The fan was referring to the fact that a former member of the Crimson Tide basketball team – rated among the top teams in the nation -- has been arrested for murder, and the current star of the team provided the murder weapon. 

Has the fan no sense of shame? No, apparently none whatsoever.

But apparently, athlete violence and rowdy fandoms are OK if the athlete and fans love the correct right-wing politicians and hate the same people Maxson does.

This is far from the only instance in which Maxson has given the UFC a pass on bad behavior for political reason. Maxson and the MRC have regularly lavished praise on UFC commissioner Dana White for his support of Trump. Maxson himself (or herself) repeatedly touted how White was "taking a leaf out of President Donald Trump's book on media criticism" over his attempts to evade health restrictions during the early days of the COVID pandemic by continuing to state fights. But at a New Year's Eve party, White slapped his wife during an argument caught on video; he faced no discipline from UFC for doing so. Maxson (along with the rest of the MRC) has been silent about the incident.

It seems loving -- and hating -- the right people allows one to get away with all sorts of things as far as the MRC is concerned.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2023 11:04 AM EDT

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