Sports

Dada 5000’s Family Blasted Joe Rogan’s ‘Overtly Racist’ Comments

After the slow-moving car crash that was the Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000 fight at Bellator 149, everyone knew what they’d seen was a failure on the part of both fighters to have the fitness necessary to go three rounds. No one was more critical than MMA commentator Joe Rogan, who accused Dada of having a heart “filled with cheeseburgers and fried chicken and orange soda.”

That Dada wasn’t in fighting shape isn’t up for debate — the strain of the fight caused dehydration serious enough to trigger renal failure and a heart stoppage and send him to the hospital. But his family still took exception to the tenor of Rogan’s criticism, and they voiced their complaints via a since-deleted Facebook post, quoted here courtesy of Bloody Elbow:

“The Harris Family is appalled at the overtly racist and offensive comments directed at Dada 5000 by Joe Rogan who said in an interview that Dada’s heart was filled with “cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and orange soda,” mocking the family’s statement issued the previous day.

“We don’t recall Mr. Rogan ever challenging anyone with this amount of vitriol and ignorant racial overtones, all directed to a man who is still hospitalized.

“For the record, Dada lost 40 pounds over course the of 3 1/2 months while in training camp where he had a boxing coach an MMA coach, and a nutritionist hired by his team. As fight week approached Dada was only 2-3 pounds over fight weight. He took this fight very seriously as evidenced by his gutsy performance. Mocking Dada 5000 with hurtful and racist comments is despicable and divisive and has no place in the sport of mixed martial arts or in our society.”

Let’s just get this out of the way: Any white man criticizing a black man would do well to stay clear of any mentions of fried chicken or fruit soda. That is indeed inexcusable, but while Rogan may have made incorrect assumptions about Dada’s training, his point that Dada was woefully underprepared (and that Bellator should have known better) stands.

If Dada truly worked his tail off and lost 40 pounds ahead of the fight, then the onus falls even more squarely on Bellator for allowing it to go on. They must have seen how far Dada had to go months before the fight, and they could have stepped in to either cancel or postpone the fight. Dada may have wanted badly to participate, but the organizers who have the responsibility to know when doing so could endanger a fighter’s life. Rogan’s choice of words was poor and offensive, but he knew that much.

(Via Bloody Elbow)

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