After firing off a tweet that used a gay slur to criticize Bryan Caraway, UFC star Nate Diaz was quickly fined $20,000 and suspended 90 days for violating the UFC's code of conduct. Diaz has not been heard from publicly since then, but his manager Mike Kogan has attempted to defuse the situation by explaining that Diaz was using the term in a different context than the more generally understood, offensive way.
That explanation hasn't been enough for some critics, who believe that Diaz might have missed a lesson on sensitivity, but Diaz's team is holding steady on their stance.
According to Kogan, who discussed the incident on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Diaz feels he has nothing to be sorry for.
"Nate doesn't feel remorse for what he said," Kogan told host Ariel Helwani."I don't feel remorse for what he said. I don't feel remorse for defending what he said or elaborating on what he said. Because it was not a homophobic statement. It was not intended to offend homosexuals. We weren't even talking about homosexuals. One can debate the multiple uses of this term. We can sit here and debate in the English language, there's a lot of words that mean a lot of different things, but whatever. As it is, it wasn’t intended to be used the way people tried to twist the way it was being used. So therefore, what does he have to feel bad about? The fact that [Caraway] shouldn't gloat over other person's issues and try to kiss ass to make a point?
"Did anybody ask Bryan Caraway about his stance on marijuana? No," continued. "Nobody asked Bryan Caraway anything. They just gave him the damn money because he was chasing after Dana all over Twitter begging for the g------n bonus. Just take your money and go away."
Kogan said that while he understand some could be offended by Diaz's choice of words, he believed the context of Diaz's tweet made it clear he wasn't intending to offend anyone in the gay community.
"If we would have made a homophobic statement, or a statement that was clearly intended to insult homosexuals, that’s one thing," he said. "You come out and say, 'Hey, you know what, I’m really sorry it hurt people. We didn’t mean to do that.' But to me, and this is just my philosophy, and I'm sure it's going to be disagreed with by many people. This is how I think, and how Nate thinks. The mere fact that there is a protocol to deal with these crisis situation implies its lack of sincerity."
Kogan said that while he thought there was a better choice of words available, any apology would be an admission that he intentionally intended to offend the gay community.
He also suggested the code of conduct has been enforced unevenly, nothing other incidents that took place that didn't result in fines. He said he plans to have a private conversation with UFC leadership to gain a better understanding on what exactly constitutes a violation, how a fine amount is determined, and how a benefitting charity is chosen.
"I'm not trying to throw people under the bus," he said. "I'm just saying, people are out there making their opinions known and I guess, randomly, some opinions are more bolder than the others. Or maybe there's some kind of Twitter hate meter, if it goes up too high then you start to punish people. I don't really know. It really doesn't matter. It is what it is."
When Diaz is cleared for competition in a few months, Kogan said he will likely be heading north to 170 pounds, where he fought four times in 2010-11. Kogan said that over the years, Diaz's activity has made the draining cut to 155 more laborious, and that moving upward would give him a chance to add more muscle to his 6-foot frame.
Meanwhile, another client, Roy Nelson, is likely due for a big raise, as he's finished out his previous contract and is in line for a new deal at just the right time, having won three straight, all by first-round knockouts.
For now though, he'll concentrate on getting Diaz through this rough patch and moving him towards a new home as a welterweight.
"Just because there's a few really strong, big guys at 170, that doesnt mean he can’t be there," he said. "That doesn't mean he's going to stand there and try to measure his strength against their strength. There's strategies, there's ways to beat people without letting them engage their physical attributes, right? Carlos Condit is not a huge 170 guy. He fights at 170. I think Nate will do just fine."