Donald Cerrone, one of the UFC's most popular fighters, dropped a homophobic slur last weekend, just days after the UFC announced a collaboration with The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada.
Cerrone, speaking at a Q&A during the UFC Fan Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday, said Daniel Cormier fought "like a f*g" against Anderson Silva at UFC 200. Cormier used a conservative, wrestling-heavy style against Silva.
Hours later, "Cowboy" apologized for the remark on Instagram, saying it was offensive and that he had let down family in the LGBTQ community. In the photo, Cerrone was wearing one of the "We Are All Fighters" shirts the UFC had made in support of LGBTQ Center in Vegas. All proceeds from t-shirt sales will go to the organization.
The apology post was later deleted. A UFC official told MMA Fighting that Cerrone stood by the apology, but the post was deleted because the comments became "vile and derogatory" to the people Cerrone was apologizing to.
On Twitter, Cerrone said he used "the wrong choice of words," but was "taken totally out of context."
So the fuck I'm I. Words taken totally out of context. I meant it as he fought like a bitch https://t.co/WZxn9Cjl8b— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) July 13, 2016
Yes I 10000% agree. Was the wrong choice of words https://t.co/rqXYLGEike— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) July 13, 2016
This week, Center CEO Michael Dimengo released a statement regarding the situation to MMA Fighting.
"Yes, we are disappointed by the remarks made by Mr. Cerrone about Mr. Cormier. The new initiative between UFC and The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is an initiative of mutual support and trust, because we recognize the intersection of good sportsmanship that includes respect for all persons and equality for all persons, as part of the UFC agenda and our ultimate aims for equality and recognition of LGBTQ persons. Our partnership with UFC is intentional. That partnership is not only one of support, but one in which we can enhance UFC and its athletes with sensitivity to our organization and our culture. We hope to work collaboratively together. If there's ever a way we can work with Mr. Cerrone and share with him our experiences, to foster that respect, we're happy to do so."
The UFC has not mentioned any kind of discipline for Cerrone. Cerrone was unavailable for further comment, because he's out of the country, according to his manager Josh Jones.
"Please know that he firmly stands behind his apology," Jones said.
Cerrone (30-7, 1 NC) is one of the most consistent and fan-favorite fighters on the UFC roster. He has won 10 of his last 11 fights with the lone loss coming in a lightweight title bout against Rafael dos Anjos in December. Cerrone, 33, is coming off a third-round TKO of Patrick Cote last month and will meet Rick Story at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas.
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