Conduct is defined by Webster’s as “the way that a person behaves in a particular place or situation.” However it also has a secondary meaning and that is “the way that something is managed or directed”
By: Jonathan M. King
The UFC recently did its best NFL impersonation when they reinstated Thiago Silva to their active roster after he was arrested for aggravated battery (on his ex wife) and resisting arrest. Allegedly, Silva upset that his ex wife was with another man, drove to his Brazilian Jujitsu academy with a gun and made threats outside that he was going to kill everyone inside. “Allegedly” this happened in front of 25 people. The incident is not in question, the specifics may be, but there were many people who saw the interaction. In fact the jiu jitsu academy had to be locked down with all the students inside to keep everyone safe. Silva, was supposedly armed and showed the gun!
Silva then barricaded himself in his home and refused to obey police commands to surrender. The police were eventually forced to taser the 205lbs fighter before taking him into custody. Where he remained for quite some time, a guest of the county! That prompted the UFC to release Silva immediately. UFC President Dana White even went so far as saying “This guy will never fight in the UFC again!”
Silva managed to get out on bail, although he was monitored by an ankle bracelet he resumed training at The Blackzilians gym in south Florida. He took a fight with Howard Davis’s ‘Fight Time Promotions’, however the bout fizzled out. Then something extraordinarily odd happened. All the charges were dropped!
The report cited his ex wife’s refusal to cooperate as a reason, as she had moved out of the country and was no longer assisting in the investigation. Then some how, Glenn Robinson (Silva’s Manager) somehow greased the wheel enough for Dana White to awkwardly back track and allow Silva back into the worlds biggest mixed martial arts organization.
White’s reasoning seemed sound, but he himself seemed skeptical at best. “When I watched it and heard of the charges, it didn’t look good for Thiago Silva. But he was acquitted of all charges. How do you not let the guy fight again?”He went through the legal process and came out of it untainted. He deserves to be able to make a living again. He’s back under contract”,White said.
Perhaps the UFC was satisfied with an “Official” report from the police. Maybe they didn’t feel the need to investigate. But as the cell phone video Kamiji Silva produced proved, they probably should have! The video (in portuguese) shows an armed Silva, who appears out of sorts, and is reportedly wiping cocaine from his nose as he threatens his now ex wife.
Like the NFL the UFC has been wearing their flip flops to work lately, because after suspending, and reinstating Thiago Silva, they have decided to cut him again based on the new video! The on again off again, on again love affair is apparently off again! The strange part is this, like the NFL the UFC could have avoided this embarrassment by simply making a few phone calls.
Hopefully these incidents change the way these organizations handle internally problems that happen externally. Athletes or not, accountability for reprehensible actions has to be punished across the board universally. If not you risk the integrity of the sport by alienating the fan base, and you can’t wait for Budweiser to threaten pulling your advertising (which the NFL did!), you have to be proactive.
Note: Anthony Johnson has been suspended indefinitely pending an investigation an investigation into allegations by his ex wife that he beat her in 2012 and knocked out her teeth. Johnson vehemently denounces the allegations as lies. It should be mentioned that unlike Adrian Peterson, Thiago Silva, and Ray Rice these allegations are not recent, nor is their evidence in the media that makes it place inherent guilt on Johnson. That is not to say the charges are false, but they definitely seem a little shady. If he is guilty he should suffer the same fate as Silva.
Hopefully the UFC has learned from the embarrassment of the Thiago Silva debacle. Lets just hope they also learn from the NFL(and it appears that they have!) that sweeping things under the rug, only lead to a complete mess down the road! When it comes to conduct a line has to be drawn, firmly.