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What do you think: Should Frank Mir have apologized for opening his mouth too wide?
Evidence we've officially entered the nanny-state era in MMA: Frank Mir was forced to apologize Tuesday for last week's remarks that he wanted to make Brock Lesnar the sport's first "Octagon-related death."
Again: A man who concusses people for a living apologized because he said something offensive. Charles Bronson would vomit.
"I would like to apologize to Brock Lesnar, his family, the UFC and the UFC fans for my stupid remarks," read Mir's press release. "I respect Brock, all the other fighters and the sport of mixed martial arts. I'm sorry that I stepped out of line."
As other sites have pointed out, the hollow threat of homicide is as old and synonymous with fight sports as hand wraps and cups. Mir's comments were obnoxious, but they were specifically engineered to get fan buzz going. (Fans of violent activities are generally not a pacifist lot; recall that Zaire's famous chant of "Ali, boom bye yae" when "The Greatest" fought George Foreman translates to "Ali, kill him.")
But, oh, does it get better. Informed of Mir's shocking -- shocking! -- attempt to promote himself using insincere hyperbole, UFC president Dana White doffed his righteous-indignation cap and declared Mir an "idiot," while labeling the entire incident "unprofessional."
White calling someone on their public-relations conduct is like Bill Buckner calling anyone uncoordinated. It may be true, but you sure don't need to hear it from him. By reacting with ridiculous stoicism, White conferred gravity upon Mir's comments that otherwise never would have existed; by apologizing, Mir implied he did something wrong.
He didn't. The comments were tasteless, particularly in light of Lesnar's recent hospitalization for a serious condition. But it's nothing that hasn't been uttered thousands of times in thousands of different ways by thousands of fighters. White can act as appalled as he likes, but if Mir and Lesnar fight a third time, he's not going to turn down the revenue out of principle.