Torres tweet causes dismissal

December 11, 2011

MMA Junkie reported late last week that Miguel Torres was fired due to a tweet he sent out in reference to rape. White announced Torres release due to his tweet regarding rape.

Torres stated that the tweet, which was erased and then revised to omit the offending language, was a gag in the FX show “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

Payout Perspective:

Irony that Torres’ tweet originated from a Fox show?

The Torres dismissal underscores the competing interests of Zuffa fighters. From one perspective, they encourage to tweet and serve as a brand ambassador for the UFC. As incentive for their use of twitter, Zuffa awards quarterly bonuses. On the other hand, fighters must know the parameters of their behavior and be responsible for their tweets.

Rashad Evans’ Penn State comments directed to alumnus Phil Davis and Forrest Griffin’s “rape is the new missionary” tweet are examples of questionable comments by fighters that went without punishment. With these as examples, perhaps Torres felt he could push the line with the twitter joke and get noticed by the twittersphere.

One of the winners of Zuffa’s first quarterly twitter awards, Griffin apologized for his tweet and did some damage control by donating money to a local rape crisis center. Not that it is an excuse, but Evans’ comments were made in the heat of trash talk with Davis. While the intent was there, the analogy to the Sandusky situation was unfortunate.

The recent remarks prompted the debate on whether a personal code of conduct should be instituted. This was dismissed by White as Torres was made an example for others not to follow.

Practically, Zuffa fighters must be smart about their place in the company. Evans and Griffin will be given much more leniency than a Miguel Torres. Regardless, fighters must recognize that they may be held accountable for what they say or tweet. While there is an award for being creative, fighters must figure a way to do it while knowing what’s appropriate.

From a PR standpoint, the UFC cannot condone its fighters joking about rape or child molestation on any communication platform. Torres was made an example as Evans and Griffin are more known within the UFC. As the UFC moves into the mainstream, it cannot have its fighters make any kind of joke regarding rape.

4 Responses to “Torres tweet causes dismissal”

  1. Assassin on December 12th, 2011 6:32 AM

    The best coaches in history have always preached that they treat all of their players fairly, but that does not mean they are all treated equally. Stars and star power have always been treated differently than the lower ends of the roster, and the UFC is no different. It is a shame for Torres, and I would not have kicked him out, but I see their point. Maybe once the bustle of new Strikeforce and first round of all 3 fox shows is past (mid march) Dana will have time to look back on this and change it to a 3-6 month suspension. At least I hope so.

  2. Diego on December 12th, 2011 7:31 AM

    What Torres tweeted is nothing compared to what Dana says. Add the fact that other fighters have gotten away with worse and Torres’ punishment seems arbitrary and hypocritical. Of Evans, Griffin and Torres, I think Torres’ comments are the most innocuous, but his punishment is the most severe.

    I believe that the UFC needs to clean up it’s image now that it is trying for mainstream audiences, but punishments need to be applied consistently and should fit the crime. If Torres had prefaced his comments with a note stating that he was quoting one of the most popular shows on FX would he still have been dismissed? I hope Dana reconsiders the dismissal. It seems way too harsh.

    I were a UFC fighter I would close my twitter account. It’s not worth the risk.

  3. Assassin on December 12th, 2011 8:04 AM

    “I were a UFC fighter I would close my twitter account. It’s not worth the risk.”

    I agree. My company has been pushing for the past year that we all become more visible online via social media. However, they also wanted access to all of our accounts and indicated they would be reviewing what we post and we could be subject to disciplinary actions. Needless to say, I do not use social media for that reason, at least under my own name, and will not tell them when i do. Social media is a double edged sword.

  4. Matt on December 12th, 2011 11:18 AM

    Diego,

    I wouldn’t say that Dana’s previous comments were worse than Torres or vice versa. I do have a big problem when Torres tweets gems like “Your mouth says no, but my roofies say yes.” Torres has a long history of inappropriate tweets and he finally got some flack for it.

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