Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Backseat of the PlazzVan
Privilege and responsibility
Professionalism and price of being emotional
Hari-gate and K-1 finals debacle
Bout’ now there has probably been said nuff’ theories and ‘what if’ scenarios on K-1 new found clowned prince, Badr Hari. Glorifying villains and bad boys is common place in Hollywood where fair play and respectability is fast going out of fashion. Look at the amount of gangster movies which high light the high life of pimped out felons with all the ‘booty’ around them. Such glory makes it easy to understand why modern society and a new cyber age fan may love the ‘criminality’ of an otherwise boring stock standard issue.
This is an obvious reason as to why computer games like Grand Theft Auto IV smashed all records. That however a video game, K1 isn’t…. It is a privilege only a handful of fighters will ever experience.
KIA sponsored and highly talented Hari is one such fighter, who got away with a few rash acts of madness but the finals drama was something out of the ordinary. It was indeed a special moment for all the wrong reasons. Three of them in fact and possibly a fourth after the red card was issued.
In a strange turn of events the Moroccan high flyer picked up the K-1 MVP (Most Valuable Player) on a popular vote. Hari gained 72.8 %( 42425 vote) out of total vote 58287..... Maybe this might be a saving race to an otherwise disgrace. Reminiscent of old school professional wrestler and crowd puller, Razor ‘Bad Guy’ Ramon and his antics and speech of similar sentiment was certainly an entertainer.
However if one were to take pleasure in Hari using foul tactics to beat a fallen fighter under stand up rules, it is distressing to say the least and cowardly of him.
It is a privilege enough to be part of K-1 as the cream of the crop; therefore fighters must do everything in their power to prolong and justify their affiliation. With this comes responsibility. Men like Peter Aerts, Ray Sefo and late Andy Hug held themselves in such high esteem and are revered for their conduct both in and out (of the ring). Hari sadly won’t be bracketed in this column. Japan is a country full of tradition and respectful ethics. Therefore this MVP result which is of a substantial sample is very surprising.
Then again maybe things are changing; we are no anthropologists so perhaps a research thesis is in order and K1 is professional entertainment. If at all in some morbid way this has caused any good-- it is the attention K1 has attracted becuase of how it ended. It is human nature to seek curiously when things go horribly wrong. OJ Simpson and his new found misery is proof enough for the smashing ratings FOX and CNN recieved when they ran his latest sentencing.
Speaking of which… with privilege comes the burden of responsibility. All elite level fighters experience this on a daily basis, be it in or out of the ring. These extend to everyone who are part of the setup from officials to promoters and even ring card girls. Therefore any excuse of emotional frustration for Hari lashing out is rather lame and inexplicable. A global audience watching with an expectant photo finish, this foul tasted bad in everyone’s mouth. Simply for the fact that it spoilt a party…
Surprisingly well respected and highly regarded K1 head referee and disciplinarian Kakuda should have issued a red card straight away and not hesitated to do so. Instead he attempted to almost ‘revive’ Bonjasky by patting him on the back, who was initially stunned but as the saga dragged played along with alleged ‘Hollywood’ and ‘acting’ barbs which have now surfaced.
It should have been immediate, just like in football and Hari ejected from the ring. Instead a soap opera style drama ensued as Hari stood there steaming and holding his ground, waiting for an almost second round of something.
Whether or not it was an Oscar winning performance is irrelevant as it should have been an immediate DQ and saved everybody the ‘Falcon Crest’ followed by Hari’s verbal taunts to Bonjasky’s corner.
As a privileged man with so much skill and talent it is a shame that the final had to go down this road and now as an organisation who enjoy market leadership, FEG and K1 have the responsibility to hand out a suitable punishment. This in the name of fight sport and fans. Imagine if this had happened on UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) or a Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned event…. It would have been done and dusted by now with the writing on the wall.
Bicycles on the pavement
In a post fight interview Hari answering a question about his antics and its legality, acknowledged the obvious and said ‘so is riding bicycles on pavements’. It is quite heartening that he can have his sense of humour at an hour where he has caused the most controversial incident in K-1 history and compare it to riding a bicycle… unlawfully.
KIA, who is his sponsor would seriously be considering his future on their endorsement roster and if a worse case scenario befalls him, whereby FEG cut him from their own roster, he may very well be cycling be it on a pavement or not. Then it might not sound so funny, possibly receiving an infringement notice on his prized two wheels of transportation.
His start and finish couldn’t have been more contrasting. Stopping living legend Peter Aerts, he acknowledged him by worshiping the Dutch fighter centre ring and then ended his night by attempting to shove his foot down a fallen Bonjasky’s throat. Can someone explain how this gold turned into dust?