Last night during “The Ultimate Fighter” a journalist tweeted fans and asked their opinion of “TUF 20” competitor Angela Magana. Some went to their usual 140 characters, spelling errors and empty threats. The reporter provided her email address and this is what I sent.
Prior to “TUF,” I did some research on Magana and I learned that she suffered two life-threatening injuries and continues to pursue a mixed martial arts career. She’s earned my respect alone for that.
Since Angela has been on the show, she’s become a personality and has gone out of her way to stand out among the crowd and promote herself. Sure this has drawn the ire of fans who I think take mixed martial arts too seriously. It’s one thing to not approve of what someone does, it’s another to tweet them and hope “they have a slow painful death.”
The problem is fans – especially men for some reason – believe that women athletes should be humble and respectful but we don’t hold the men to that same standard. Angela Magana calls her haters “peasants” or Ronda Rousey flips off Miesha Tate and people run and grab their torches. Chael Sonnen insults an entire country and makes a bad rape joke and people laugh. War Machine condones rape and no one says anything except for the “boys will be boys.” I like Sonnen, but why is it okay for men to insult and trash talk yet women can’t. I asked this once and got a response from a wise sage who said “Chael is hilarious and can say whatever he wants.”
Part of Magana’s personality is her own doing. Part of it is how the television show is produced. I know “TUF” is focused on a sport and is billed as reality TV, but Flash Fact: reality TV is not real. It’s similar to Rousey, except she had the attitude of “I don’t care.” Magana’s seem to be more like “if you want to call me a bitch, I’ll show you what a bitch looks like.”
That might not even be it. I don’t know her. And honestly I don’t care what she does because her actions don’t influence my life or even how I watch mixed martial arts. Sure, I started a drinking game where we take a swig of beer every time she uses “majesty” in a tweet but I was already drinking in the first place.
And some might argue “she’s being a crappy role model for girls, just like Ronda.” That’s up to kids or fighters to decide. Some young athletes are smart enough to look at a celebrity and say “I like their technique, I will emulate that but not what they do outside of the cage.”
If people get upset by what Magana does – and I mean really upset, not just throwing out blatant insults or threats in hopes that she retweets them – then ignore her. There’s a little thing called the mute button.
It’s a long-winded answer but unless she’s hurting animals and people – and I mean physically hurting people, not insulting fanboys who hide beyond their faceless Twitter eggs – I personally don’t care what Magana does, just like she doesn’t care what I do.