All major sporting organizations have to deal with controversy.
– The NFL has the ongoing concussion issue.
– The NBA had gambling problems.
– Major league baseball continues dealing with steroids and other banned substances.
The UFC is no different.
Yes, what happened with Thiago Silva is a bigger deal than steroids, gambling or even concussions, but it shouldn’t become the “main story” surrounding the thriving MMA promotion.
♦ The NFL survived Rae Carruth, a former wide receiver who had his pregnant girlfriend murdered in cold blood. They pushed on when Leonard Little was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a fatal crash while intoxicated.
♦ The NBA pushed through when Tim Donaghy was investigated by the FBI for betting on games that he called. He spent 11 months in a federal prison camp for his decisions.
♦ While the MLB remains a shell of its former self due to self-inflicted wounds, none have been bigger than Barry Bonds. The famed slugger lied in court and has been blackballed by the sport he once brought to the spotlight.
The thing is, those sports have had other stories come up to overshadow the “bad” ones.
The UFC has the power to do the same.
Ronda Rousey is one of those stories. Yes, many are getting tired of hearing about “Rowdy,” but she does things the right way.
The former Olympian has built herself – with the help of the UFC – into a major star. She’s a champion. Main eventing an upcoming pay-per-view for a second time. Appearing in films such as “The Expendables 3″ and is expected to be cast in the lead role of what could turn into a film series later this year.
Jon Jones is another example.
After his reckless driving charge, Jones has settled down in his ways. He is working hard to repair his image and become a major star like those before him inside the Octagon.
Johny Hendricks. Chris Weidman. Cain Velasquez. Junior dos Santos. Anthony Pettis. Demetrious Johnson. Benson Henderson. The list goes on and on and on of the good ones in the sport.
What I’m getting at is that the UFC could have taken what happened to Silva and tried to spin it back against the MMA media.
Instead, they appear to have learned from previous mistakes and cut all ties with the fighter. That was the right thing to do.
Not Dana White. Not Lorenzo Fertitta. Not Zuffa.
Just Thiago Silva.
Rae Carruth made his mistakes. Not the NFL.
Tim Donaghy made his mistakes. Not the NBA.
Thiago Silva made his mistakes. Not the UFC.
While we’re talking about Silva I’d like to get something out there.
When the story broke late Thursday night, some were too quick to make decisions in regards to what they posted online.
We have all become to accustom to the “be first, worry about being right later” rules of the internet-age.
After reading up on what was going on, and thanks to the fine people at the NBC affiliate in Florida that was on hand, I decided to post the facts – and only the facts.
The address of the incident was listed online, and through a Google search, I found the home was owned by a “Silva, Thiago.” Still, I waited until there was some confirmation from the source on-site of it being Silva, even though law enforcement did not name a subject, to run with it.
Once all that was put together, and the information I had found myself, the story went up.
Maybe it was too soon. Maybe it wasn’t soon enough.
But the facts presented were laid out, and that’s all you can do as a news reporter.