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Ryan Gracie And His Brother Renzo

I am not here to defend Ryan Gracie.

Clearly Ryan was a troubled soul. The rumors swirling about him, whatever they are worth, suggest Ryan had legal and substance abuse issues. He was obviously a very passionate man and I'm sure loved his family very much. I'm sure they loved him in return.

Which is why even if no one among you can find good words to say about Ryan, it seems to me sending condolences to Renzo shouldn't be that difficult. I realize Ryan may have been a difficult character to like, but Renzo is not. Renzo is the Brazilian Bas Rutten: one of the original pioneers, always in the mix, always affable, always willing to help the sport in whatever way he could. And while we may have reservations about the personal conduct of Ryan, we, the MMA community, owe Renzo more than to exacerbate his sorrow with callous dismissals of his brother. Renzo had enormous love for his brother and I can only imagine the sadness and torment that must be gnawing at him as I write this. It pains me to know that those giants who have allowed us to stand on their shoulders are being forced to accept the burden of personal tragedy.

I did not know Ryan and I do not know Renzo as a friend or close confidant. But I know that Renzo is in pain and that if this blog or any member of the MMA community can lend a hand to one of the greatest friends this sport has ever known, then I see it nothing short of obligatory to do so. Define such action as you wish, but take into consideration that Renzo deserves more from us than attacks on his deceased brother and family, however dubious his behavior.

Do not spit in Renzo's face. Do not turn your back on Renzo with jejune insouciance. Leave him and his family alone while they mourn the loss of someone only they truly understood.

I'm sorry for your loss, Renzo. Rest in peace, Ryan Gracie.