White to SI: You should apologize and do your homework

Friday, July 19, 2013

When Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva, some members of the hardcore fanbase were so stunned, and/or drunk, that they speculated Silva must have thrown the fight, escaping a tight heel hook, and then rolling his eyes back into his own head.

Unfathomably, Sports Illustrated employees Maggie Gray, Chris Mannix, Ted Keith, and Andrew Perloff all discussed the issue as if it was plausible, despite knowing nothing about MMA, being unable to pronounce Weidman’s name correctly, or even having seen the fight.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if it was happening in this UFC case,” said Mannix. “I mean I just think it does happen a lot of times.”

Andrew Perloff was stupider still.

“My first thought, when I read the results on Sunday morning… Yeah, that it made me nervous,” he said. “But I would have thought they would have fixed it for Silva. But UFC, and correct me if I’m wrong, is even less regulated than boxing, right?”

Wrong.

It is all well and good to get liquored up and argue about allegations of cheating in, say, Shinty-Hurling, but Sports Illustrated is supposed to be held to a higher standard. Sports Illustrated is supposed to hire professionals, act professionally.

One thing a professional does is apologize when a major error is made. Thus it is no surprize that SI’s Maggie Gray failed to apologize when UFC president Dana White today made an appearance on “SI Now.”

In fact, Gray compounded the failure, by claiming the subject was discussed in general terms. This is not true. For example, Mannix said “It wouldn’t surprise me if it was happening in this UFC case.” Anyone who knows anything – anything at all – about mixed martial arts would in fact be surprized if Anderson Silva threw a fight, by rolling his eyes back into his head and making himself go unconscious.

As he did yesterday on ESPN 2, White blasted the SI staffers.

“I honestly thought you guys were calling to apologize because you were embarrassed at how ridiculous your show was,” White told Gray. “Now as I sit here and talk to you, you’re even more ridiculous.”

“If you don’t know anything about what you’re talking about, you probably shouldn’t talk about it. That sounds like a really good idea. That’s why you’ve been getting smashed by fans and why I smashed you yesterday at ESPN. Because if you’re going to talk about something, you might want to do your homework and know what you’re talking about, or at least you might want to have at least seen the fight so somebody on that panel would have had half a brain to say, ‘You know what, I saw the fight. The guy was viciously knocked out. How could that be fixed?’

“The conclusion of your roundtable should be that you guys should do your homework and understand exactly what it is you’re talking about. And if nobody watched the fight that day, you should at least know the sport is regulated. At least know some general things about the sport. At least do your homework.”

Thanks to MMAJunkie for transcription.