Yesterday former UFC bantamweight Miguel Torres was released from the promotion for a rape-related tweet. He now vows to use the opportunity to improve.
“I have a lot to be thankful for in my life, I have my beautiful wife and daughter, my family, my health, my gym, and in terms of my career, I succeeded to the biggest stage in the sport of mixed martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
"I am very sorry for upsetting my bosses at the UFC, and also to my fans and everyone else who was upset by the language in my tweets. I understand it was wrong, and I meant no harm or disrespect.
"Given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to make things right. I am going to learn from this. I think life throws you opportunities that can make you a better person, and so that’s what I’m going to do here. That is how I am going to react. I am going to use this to improve myself, and I hope that my fans will continue to support me.”
Read entire statement...
The firing came after Torres posted the following on his twitter account. "If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn't mind going for rides in them." He later removed the tweet above, and replaced it with "If a windowless van was called a surprise van more people wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises."
The original tweet had already been mentioned by SI.com.
"There's no explanation for that," UFC PresidentWhite told SI.com. "There's absolutely nothing I could say to make any sense of that. And the fact that he even thinks that's funny or that's a joke, it disturbs me. It bothers me.
"Again, you're dealing with a guy [who's] a smart guy, that owns his own business, that's been one of the top fighters in the world forever. And I cut him today. He's no longer with the UFC."
Torres' firing comes after both Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans were taken to task for innappropriate jests related to rape. Griffin referred to rape as "the new missionary" in commenting on the crime's prevalence in the media. And Evans told Pen State alum Phil Davis he was going to put his hands on him worse than Jerry Sandusky.
Torres told HeavyMMA's Matt Erickson that the quote was a reference to a line from the FX sitcom "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Episode No. 2, Season 4, titled "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis" takes place largely in a van with tinted windows that the characters repeatedly refer to as a "rape van."
While Torres can be edgy on Twitter, he has worked tirelessly with underprivileged children, and is known widely to be a decent, caring, and honest human being. The twitter post shows an unfathomable lack of judgement for an athlete in the public eye, all the more so given that MMA remains controversial to a degree. Emphaticaly however, the tweet was not a reflection of Torres' character generally.