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How will Josh Barnett handle his PR problem in Japan?

By Zach Arnold | July 26, 2009

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His options are limited and there’s no right answer:

On August 9th in Tokyo at Ariake Colosseum, Barnett will be wrestling on Antonio Inoki’s show. There will be a lot of media writers in attendance and Barnett’s going to be facing the heat. Barnett can’t get away with issuing a ‘no comment’ because that will make it look like he’s hiding something or trying to run away from the heat. If he declares his innocence 100%, he’s still going to have to answer questions about how the Affliction fighters lost paychecks because of what happened. And if Barnett comes out and admits that he made a mistake and did in fact use steroids and apologizes to the Japanese fans, it might help his situation out but it would destroy his appeal in California (if he goes through with it). Things are about to get very rough for Josh and he needs to get as much advice as he possibly can on how to handle the PR situation, and by advice I don’t mean simply his normal ‘inner circle’ of advisors, either.

Topics: Affliction, Japan, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “How will Josh Barnett handle his PR problem in Japan?”

  1. lordschroeder says:

    Serves him right. I’ve never liked Josh. In all of his interviews, especially the ones on fightopinion radio, he had the smug, superiority attitude as if he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He has now effectively killed Affliction, cost other fighters hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income, all due to his own selfishness. I hope he is never allowed to compete in mma again.

  2. jr says:

    Josh hearts being the Jeremy Mayfield of MMA

  3. ttt says:

    it’d be great to have a podcast to discuss the demise of affliction 😉

  4. Bob says:

    Good article Zach,

    I think you touched on all the salient points.

    One possibility is that he plays on the cultural nuances and positions himself as the “bad guy”.

    He doesn’t admit blame, continues with his appeal, points out that Affliction was looking to pack it in before the test results were known.

    If it worked, it would maintain his relevance and get people in the seats to see him get defeated (indifference is the real killer).

    I’d like to hear him say something like
    “is it the fault of the blossom when the tree falls?”, hopefully he won’t do this while talking on his cellular when driving in Tokyo 🙂

  5. Mark says:

    Josh was fine on F.O.R. Having to shove Shayna Baszler down our throats during the interview was the problem. Her acting like anybody gave a shit about her, since this was far before the CBS fight with Cris Cyborg was the annoying thing about Josh’s F.O.R. episodes. I made it through 5 minutes of her before having to turn it off.

    As for Josh’s actions, I think he should satisfy the Japanese, because his career is effectively dead in America now. I can’t think of anybody in any sport who has comeback from 2 positive steroid tests. You can get away with one if you apologize enough, but the second one is an automatic career killer. But I think the Japanese will be more forgiving as long as he’s honest. They hate lying more than the actual steroids.

  6. Vox says:

    @Mark actually, Barnett came back from 2 positive tests…this is his 3rd positive for steroids in the US.

  7. Mark says:

    I mean separate incidents

  8. Steve4192 says:

    Josh had had three separate incidents (UFC 34, UFC 36, Affliction 3). The UFC 34 failure was never reported as it was part of an NSAC fact gathering effort rather than a regulatory thing, but he still pissed hot.

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