Michael David Smith of Fanhouse was first to recognize the incendiary skin art of Finnish fighter Toni Valtonen, uncovered during an HDNet broadcast Friday. Valtonen, who has a 19-9 record, competed with dressing tape over his "White Pride" and swastika tattoos, which eventually worked its way off.
"I had a crazy and rebellious youth, I made some faults in my past and I am not proud of these marks," Valtonen said in a statement. "I regret that I ever had these tattoos made. Nowadays, I am a dedicated family man and professional athlete, and I am not involved in any politics whatsoever." Clearly not. What could possibly give us that idea?
Valtonen joins a list of athletes in the sport who have appeared sporting highly dubious markings. While I'm all for free speech -- and continue a dogged campaign for my employers to let me utilize several choice curse words in an industry in which they're almost a daily necessity -- a certain level of tact should be maintained. I couldn't get a job as a bank teller or a pizza-delivery man with "White Pride" emblazoned on my forehead. Why should Valtonen get work in a shirtless job? Have your beliefs, but face the consequences.