UFC announcer (and for my $55 a PPV, the best in the business), Joe Rogan took to his podcast to speculate this week that one possible reason UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones isn't more popular with fans is because he's black. Yea that's pretty much what he said, we'll have the full quotes below but we already quoted him accurately once.
Anyway, now that those comments are triggering a backlash, Joe has taken to Twitter to complain that he's been blatantly misquoted in the name of "click bait." Tweets will be below.
But here's the thing, we're an MMA web site. Our job is to get clicks. Hot quotes and conflict get clicks. We quoted Joe accurately so regardless of whether or not that's the best way to "further the discussion," we stand by our coverage.
And for the record, I more or less agree with Rogan, Jones would perhaps be more popular with some fans if he were white. Of course he might also be more popular with many of those same fans if Dana White hadn't blamed Jones for the cancellation of UFC 151 and referred to him as a "sport killer" in doing so.
Now with that caveat out of the way, here's Joe's tweets:
I didn't say Jon Jones isn't more popular because everyone that dislikes him is racist. It's a subject for debate and discussion, that's it.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) September 10, 2014
It's just ridiculous that legitimate mainstream outlets have misquoted me in the very title of their articles for "click bait."— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) September 10, 2014
For reference our post was headlined "Racism? Joe Rogan says if Jon Jones was white, he would be more popular with fans" and here's the quote:
"I don't know why Jon is not more loved or popular than he is," said Rogan. "I don't understand it. In my opinion, I will never miss a Jon Jones f***ing pay-per-view. I've heard people say, 'Oh, he's cocky. He's this and [that].' I wonder what the f**k is going on with that and I'm going to throw this out there, I'm just going to say it: I wonder how much of it is racism. I really do.
"You know why? Because I think they look at him as this cocky black guy and I think a lot of people have an issue with that. I think that if he was a white guy and he was doing the same thing, a la a Chael Sonnen, I think he would be way more popular. Chael was never the successful athlete that Jon is, but I think Chael was way more successful as a promoter than Jon is. Jon has not been nearly as cocky or outwardly braggadocios as Chael was.
"I just always found it odd when everybody would get upset at him and say that they didn't like that 'he's cocky.' He's 25 and he's the UFC's light heavyweight champion. He's the youngest ever UFC champion. He destroyed Shogun [Rua] to win the title and I mean destroyed. He threw a flying knee and hit Shogun in the chin five seconds into their fight. I mean, Jon Jones is a motherf***er. He's a motherf***er, but for whatever reason people have had an issue with that. I know I'm going to get a bunch of hate tweets. 'F**k you and your f***ing bulls**t. What do you got? White guilt? Calling out racism?'
"I'm probably going to get an equal amount from 'the Aryan race,' mad at me for defending Jon Jones, 'The cocky negro.' I really think there's something to that. I think people want a guy who is so physically gifted and young and brash and black and rich, they want him to have more humility or fake humility, as it were. I think Jon's trying that a little bit and that's one of the reasons Daniel Cormier was like, 'You are so fake.' Cormier was saying that to him because I think he's trying to counteract how people feel about him."
What do you think? Were we unfair to the best commentator in MMA history?