In a blog post appearing on the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) web site, director of entertainment media Taj Paxton takes Quinton Jackson to task for comments Jackson made to The Los Angeles Times about acting "being kind of gay."
Jackson also expressed concern that Vancouver, where he shot "The A-Team," was a "San Francisco kind of place" and that he didn't want "[expletive] getting ideas about me." Mr. Jackson is the reason many publicists suffer from heart attack and stroke above the norm.
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"Equating gay with soft is an antiquated stereotype," Paxton wrote. "In an era where gay servicemen risk their lives daily, Jackson's implication that being gay means you can't be tough is particularly harmful GLAAD has reached out to Twentieth Century Fox about Jackson's defamatory comments."
The trend for mixed martial artists in the past several years has been to handle mainstream media exposure with all the grace of a church fart. Chuck Liddell dozed off -- blaming NyQuil -- during a morning-show appearance; Brock Lesnar walked off the set of an ESPN newsmagazine show interview. I half-expect some MMA fighter to strangle a network anchor with a pair of nunchucks one day, if it hasn't already happened.
Part of the problem is the relatively lax attitude of most MMA media. Off-color comments and stories are par for the course and are hardly highlighted. But the bigger world is frequently sensitive, with a wider net of people to offend, and fighters who are used to speaking without a filter need to adjust to a different set of standards.
Advising the UFC to employ a press coach is a shaky deal: The end result of a "trained" interviewee is deadly dull, and some fighters are already exhibiting signs of a robotic personality that clicks as soon as a microphone is in front of their face. That said, if athletes want to enjoy the opportunities of mass-consumer businesses, they should probably leave the homophobia and cold medicines behind.