UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch warns fighters to cease homophobic commentaryBottom Highlights, Breaking News, Online Only Friday, April 27th, 2012
Anheuser-Busch has warned the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization against fighters’ continued use of sexist and homophobic language, according to a recent report in Advertising Age. A spokesman for the company expressed “displeasure with certain remarks” made by some UFC fighters, and swore to take action if the “incidents” continue. Anheuser-Busch added that the company “embraces diversity and does not condone insensitive and derogatory comments rooted in ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, etc.”
The announcement comes at a point when the UFC is gaining increased media exposure, thanks in part to well-known sponsors like Anheuser-Busch and a long-term television deal with the Fox network.
UFC spokesmen insist that, with a roster of over 425 athletes involved in the organization, the insensitive behavior of one or two fighters is regrettable and in no way reflective of the company or its values. “We don’t condone this behavior,” UFC tells Ad Age.
However, many advocacy groups point to the nature of the sport overall as encouraging violence and contributing to a culture of sexism. In January, the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence expressed such a view, stating that “we believe the UFC contributes to a culture of violence against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
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