January 24, 2013
To: FOX Network, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and UFC Sponsors
We are writing because we are outraged that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on the main card of their upcoming January 26, 2013 UFC on FOX fight at the United Center in Chicago, IL.1 Jackson is a well-known UFC fighter who has repeatedly denigrated women. Last year, he even posted an internet video in which he makes light of sexual assault by pretending to attempt to **** a woman in a parking garage.
The fighter's video is alarming in itself, but is particularly unsettling in light of the alleged New Year's Eve **** of a young woman in a parking garage by two young men who, according to court documents, all know each other from a mixed martial arts school in the Washington D.C. area known for developing top UFC fighters. (In the court documents, the victim stated that she knew both of the Defendants from the Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy, where she was an employee and a current student. She also stated that she and one of the alleged rapists were previously employed as co-workers at the Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy, during this time they saw each other almost daily. The Academy specializes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, and Thai boxing; owner Lloyd Irvin has trained and taught top UFC fighters.)
Jackson also has a disturbing track record of mimicking sexual acts with female reporters during interviews As Yahoo! Sports reporter Kevin Iole wrote, "It is already difficult for women to compete on equal footing with men as sports writers and Jackson's sexual overtones simply made it worse."
Last month, the UFC allowed fighter Abel Trujillo, who has pled guilty twice to Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury, an aggravated misdemeanor, to fight on national television. In both cases, the victim was identified as the mother of his child. The UFC has yet to acknowledge or comment on the fighter's history.
Offensive and irresponsible behavior doesn't end with the fighters. UFC President Dana White sets a despicable tone for fighters to follow. White has used foul and abusive language, especially derogatory to women, to users on Twitter, female journalists, and even to UFC fighters.
This kind of institutional culture is unacceptable, but it becomes even more troubling knowing that Dana White has stated the following: "... I want kids watching us. [...] This is a great sport for kids."
The behavior of Rampage Jackson, UFC President Dana White, and other UFC fighters is unacceptable. Misogynistic and sexist behavior can no longer be tolerated in the UFC. The UFC and FOX need to clean up their act in 2013 by cutting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from the January 26th fight card and adopting a meaningful code of conduct.
The letter is signed by representatives from the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, **** Victims Advocates, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Between Friends, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, and Mujeres Latinas en Acción, along with seven clergy leaders from the Chicagoland area, the 8th Day Center for Justice, 20 professors and staff from seven Chicagoland area universities, and labor union Unite Here.