EDITOR'S NOTE FROM LUKE THOMAS: THIS IS A FAN POST WRITTEN BY A READER OF BLOODYELBOW, NOT THE STAFF.
As already stated by the editors, I (the author of this article) am not or ever have been a member of bloody elbow staff. I am a Fan of MMA, with a interest in writing, and certainly not a "big dog" journalist, Through the medium of bloody elbow I have diseminated this information. Within my article I have shown both the picture and source, with no interest to gain readers or listeners, when bringing this picture to the fore. The picture in question has been available to the entire internet waiting to be found. I have directed peoples attention to a website, given a balanced view, then opened debate within a public arena. Whoever happend to fumble upon it first is irrelevant, Those looking to gain kudos and glory as if the photo were taken by themselves, are mistaken into believing this knowledge is theirs for the taking.
UPDATE [from Luke Thomas]: Matt Hughes' webmaster says this is not a big deal:
This photo was taken on April 5th, 2008, when Matt did an appearance at Dale’s Harley-Davidson, in Mt. Vernon, IL. I run Matt’s website and I was there taking pictures of the event. This photo was from early on in the day and some guy brought the shirt to Matt, asked him to sign it and take a picture with it. Matt was on his way to the autograph table, so he signed it and took the picture on the move and I doubt he even looked at the shirt any longer than it took to find a blank space to sign his name. The only reason I remember it so well was I noticed the "SS" symbol and thought to myself, "Uh-oh, this could be a problem." It was a busy day, so I never brought it up and it seemed like such a small issue as the months went by.
Again, Matt has absolutely no affiliation with this group, he was just asked by a fan to sign the shirt and take the photo and he did. Matt has no connections whatsoever with white supremacist groups.
For more photos from that event, you can see his blog entry about it below:
He’s clearly wearing the same shirt in this photo as he was at that event. If you want to confirm my identity, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the explanation, Nathan, but the racist website is still using Matt's likeness. Surely he wants that removed.
UPDATE 2 [by Luke Thomas]: And that's exactly what they intend to do:
We are also aware that the photo is being used by this group on their website as an endorsement of this shirt. We are trying to contact them to remove it immediately and if they do not comply then we will pursue legal action against them.
Not only do we completely disagree with everything they stand for, but this "endorsement" was not obtained in a legal manner, because they are using Matt’s image without permission.
UPDATE 3 [by Kid Nate]:
Apparently the story was originally broken by the D&D Show on Tuesday. Audio here.
After a late night conversation with friends, matters turned to gossip and rumour (as they invariably do) some rumours alluded to a former UFC champion having white supremacist links, Without naming names but dropping subtle hints, I guessed at the possible identity of the aforementioned ex champion.
After getting in touch with a number of contacts. I found out that there was a number of pictures out there that evidenced this fact.
After an extensive search through cyber space, I stumbled upon a rather unsavoury "white boy" racist supremacy type website. Which included a picture that clearly showed former two time world UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, with a t-shirt emblazoned with racist logos across the front and back which include the words "white boy" and "speak english mother****** on the reverse, in a pose that almost seemed to endorse the product.
Now, giving The ex champ the benefit of the doubt, He could easily not of read the words on the shirt before autographing it, holding it up, posing to camera and letting someone take his photo.
Really though, in this media savvy day and age, can anyone in the public eye, on the international stage have such a serious lapse in judgement to show himself with white supremacist paraphernalia, can ignorance really be an excuse, would we tolerate our politicians, movie stars or highest profile sports stars making such a mistake.
Although his star within MMA is now dwindling, Matt Hughes was a great champion, but does he really want to leave his career with this picture possibly hanging around, following his legacy.