By Zach Arnold | November 12, 2011
This popped into our e-mail box tonight in response to what happened this week with Forrest Griffin. Are you surprised?
For Immediate Release:
- Emmily Bristol, Board Member of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence: 702-612-4314, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leslie Lilla, Nevada single mother and board member of the United Labor Agency of Nevada (ULAN): 702-592-7844, or email@example.com
- Christine Kramar, Nevada mother of four children: 702-606-2618, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jennifer Reed, an instructor of Sociology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, 407-739-8909 or email@example.com
“UFC is Unfit For Prime Time”
Nevada survivors of sexual assault, concerned mothers, and Las Vegas casino workers confront the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) over violent, misogynistic and homophobic language.
- Coalition calls on FOX Sports to “Drop the UFC” from its programming schedule following rape joke by UFC fighter Forrest Griffin.
- Press Conference at 11 a.m. Saturday outside UFC’s headquarters at 2960 West Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas
Las Vegas (November 12, 2011) — On Wednesday, a number of national media reported that prominent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Forrest Griffin joked about rape on Twitter. “Rape is the new missionary,” Griffin tweeted, according to the Huffington Post.
This is the latest in a string of incidents involving violent, misogynistic and homophobic language among people associated with the UFC, which will make its debut on prime-time television on Saturday. (See www.UnfitForChildren.org)
On Saturday, Nevada survivors of sexual assault, concerned parents and Las Vegas casino workers will gather outside UFC’s headquarters at 2960 West Sahara Avenue. They are demanding that advertisers and FOX Sports “drop the UFC” until the UFC makes it evident to the public that it no longer tolerates violent, sexist and homophobic language, and adopts and enforces a code of ethical conduct similar to those that exist in other professional sports. They urge all concerned citizens to sign the petition calling on FOX to “drop the UFC”: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-fox-to-drop-ufc
“As a mother of an 18-month old toddler and a survivor of sexual violence, it is deeply disturbing to me when I see professional athletes like Forrest Griffin joke about rape,” said Emmily Bristol, a board member of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence and founder of the nationally syndicated blog, The Sin City Siren (sincitysiren.wordpress.com). “But perhaps even more disturbing to me is that this is not an isolated incident within the UFC organization. The repeated incidents of homophobic hate speech and the blatant misogynistic overtones of several comments made publicly show a pattern of demeaning, bullying, and even retaliatory remarks that are unbecoming of professionals who are admired by thousands of fans, including kids. The UFC is unfit for prime time television.”
Leslie Lilla, a single mother and board member of the United Labor Agency of Nevada (ULAN), said, ”It is unimaginable to me that we could possibly tolerate the language of certain individuals in the UFC on any form of media, much less prime time television.”
Christine Kramar, a Nevada mother of four children and founder of the blog, VegasForTheFamily.com, said, “This language trivializes the violent, everyday reality of rape and sexual assault survivors across this country. I want my children to grow up in an environment that works against sexual violence, not one where rape and sexual assault are considered punch lines for public figures.”
Jennifer Reed, a doctoral student and instructor of Sociology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) said, “Discourse has a powerful influence on behavior. If we as a society accept the use of language that makes light of and downplays serious issues such as rape (which, by definition, involves removing a person’s consent), we contribute to giving permission to the behavior. As a public sociologist and social activist, I believe it is our duty to take a stand against it.”