I’ve put up with your shit long enough and now it’s time to walk away.
You may have been under the impression that I’d already left. I stopped making my silly prediction videos ages ago and haven’t reported on the sport of mixed martial arts in a minute. But while my professional interests pulled me away from MMA media, I remained an attentive, pay-per-view buying fan. After all, I’ve been interested in combat sports since I was a child. My uncle was a boxer and I grew up respecting fighters. I bore witness to the ways in which combat sports provides those who have grown up in an atmosphere of impoverished violence the opportunity to claw their way out.
But from an entertainment point of view, boxing never held my interest, not the way that mixed martial arts did. People criticize MMA for showcasing the ugliest, darkest impulses of man, but what I saw was a competition that celebrated our most intrinsic and awe-inspiring qualities. Heart. Courage. Faith. Determination. Self-belief.
I was given an opportunity to cover MMA for the Vancouver Sun and wrote a couple dozen pieces covering everything from small amateur shows to the politics involved in decriminalizing the sport to profiles on MMA’s biggest stars. During this time I felt blessed to have the opportunity to meet the athletes and do my bit to grow the sport. How great to be able to support these amazing athletes by educating people about their astounding work ethic, talent and courage.
But MMA, it isn’t all about you. I can’t wait any longer for you to grow up and treat me right. It’s not just the sexist comments on fan sites, it’s not just the homophobic slurs made by the athletes, and it’s not just the misogynistic crap spouted by the figureheads of the sports biggest organization – it’s all of these things. I can’t respect myself as an adult bisexual woman and support a sport whose leaders, stars and fans think it’s just business as usual to objectify and belittle me and my ilk. If I was able to make elbow room at a dinner table where everyone was talking shit about me, but the food was great, I wouldn’t do it. My hunger for respect is greater than my hunger for entertainment. I want to end this letter, and our relationship, on a positive note and wish you well, but that would be insincere. What I really want to say, MMA, is this: Fuck you, too.