10-0 TUF Nations middleweight semifinalist Tyler Manawaroa will not be offered a UFC contract regardless of how he does on the show, after socially unacceptable messages were found on one of his social networking sites.
Jeremy Botter, MMA writer for B/R has the official message.
"The UFC organization had hired an investigation company in Australia to conduct thorough background investigations on potential contestants for The Ultimate Fighter Nations television series," said the UFC rep. "Unfortunately, the background checks did not uncover all of the social media history by contestant Tyler Manawaroa. The UFC is committed to having an environment that is free from discrimination. Consequently, UFC has notified Manawaroa that regardless of how far he advances in the completed television series, the organization will not be offering him a contract to compete in the UFC."
Manawaroa responded via Facebook.
"Just a question," he wrote. "Every one in their life has made a bad decision that has offended someone ..if you have apologized and have no intention of ever repeating that bad decision ..and your apology has been rejected. ..what do you do??"
The situation is not a simple one, but to be understood fully, cultural offensiveness has to be seen in context. Manawaroa is dark skinned in a country, Australia, with very few people of African descent. In fact, the largest group of people of African descent in Australia are probably white South Africans.
Maori and aboriginal people in Australia often consider themselves black, and often resonate with black America culture as seen on music, television, and movies. Manawaroa was 17 when he wrote what he did, and has apologized sincerely:
"I posted a pic on instagram that has offended people," wrote Manawaroa. "im very sorry !! As you can imagine that was never the intention. .as a dark skinned person myself who has delt with racism all my life ,I was making fun of the stereotype that all dark people go to jail..which is obviously not true….hence the irony…but I will remove it and I apologize for offending you."
The differences between Maori and aboriginal, while keenly understood in New Zealand and Australia, are generally only vaguely recognized in the US, Canada, and Europe. This confusion offer illumination into Manawaroa's likely state of mind at 17 when he wrote what he wrote.
This should not destroy his MMA career. And if you take the UFC out of MMA, there is very little in the way of a career left.
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