In trying to quell controversy over a series of comments on social media sites about gay marriage, UFC fighter Josh Thomson may have made things worse.
One day after expressing concern that legalizing gay marriage would lead to polygamy and adults marrying children, the veteran lightweight deleted his posts and issued a press release stating that his comments were taken out of context by members of the media.
The release said Thomson was using social media to “poll” fans on “what turned out to be a controversial and thought provoking topic.”
“It was not my intention to offend or hurt anyone,” he stated.
But while Thomson stated that he isn’t against marriage, he continued to defend the logic presented in his initial posts, which were made on Twitter and Facebook.
“With organizations fighting for legalized polygamy and the North American Man/Boy Love Association fighting for rights of their own, the line between equality and controversy becomes very thin,” the release stated. “Mr. Thomson was merely giving extreme examples of very real movements in our country but he in no way meant to isolate the gay community in a negative manner.”
Asked to comment on Thomson’s recent postings, the UFC deferred MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) to his publicist, Heidi Seibert, who was unavailable for comment. Attempts to reach Thomson were unsuccessful.
It would appear Thomson’s statements violate the UFC’s code of conduct, which bar “inappropriate physical, verbal, or online behavior,” though UFC President Dana White previously has defended fighters who were expressing personal opinions as opposed to directly insulting groups.
Thomson (20-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC), a former Strikeforce champion, returned to the UFC in April with a triumphant knockout of Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7, which catapulted him up to No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA lightweight rankings.