On a Comcast Sportsnet (CSN) exclusive video interview, King Mo Lawal made an apology to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). "I was out of line for calling the woman the 'b' word and I was wrong for that. I was kind of mad about the comments, I was offended by the comments made towards me and I was out of line. I was too emotional. I apologize for that. With that being said, I still feel that I was offended, but I'm in the wrong for what I said." King Mo apology video link
The 'b' word gets used a lot more often by a lot more people today than it has ever been used in the past. But just like using the 'n' word, it depends on who says it—to whom they say it—and where they say it. What you can get away with in one context, you might not get away with in another.
Tactical Move: Putting Mo on the Defensive
King Mo apologized for the 'b' word, but he stopped short of apologizing or recanting his use of the word racist. In Mo's mind—and he was the one making the distinction—how Chairperson Pat Lundvall spoke to him seemed to fit the pattern of how a racist person would speak.
When I first read about the incident, I heard the tactical positioning in the question "do you speak English?"
What Pat Lundvall seemed to be saying is, if you speak English, then you can read labels.
The only retaliation would have been for Mo to strike back defensively by saying something like, "Am I speaking too fast? Are you having difficulty understanding me?"
Turning the tables and (politely) attacking back might have felt good in the moment, but Mo was in a losing battle—by being in the room in the first place—regardless of whether he thought the question was rude or not. Plus, as an attorney, Lundvall's conversational sparring skills are no match for King Mo's.
Fighting happens in conversation as well as in the octagon. The question served to back Mo up (emotionally) against the fence. He came out swinging—too late and in the wrong place (on Twitter) and did damage to himself. Mo knows better than to let that kind of emotional reaction happen in the cage. Mo let Pat Lundvall, a female partner in a law firm, who is well-trained in throwing people off their game, get under his skin and into his head.
Mental and Physical Health
King Mo spoke about his staph infection and the problems he's had with his leg. Worries about medical bills, a $39,000 fine and general physical discomfort are now joined by being released by Strikeforce. Now he has lots of time to consider his options facing a lengthy suspension (nine months), rehab and nursing some emotional wounds.
I felt compassion for him as he spoke on the video about being supported by friends and AKA teammates. King Mo got emotional as he said, "When I was in the hospital, man, no one had to come check on me, but they all came to come see me…it was touching, man. Everybody came through, man. I'm really not used to that because usually, when I have a battle, I take care of my own. They came to support me, man and it's touching. Makes me want to cry right now, when I think about it."
Mo's situation is a reminder that fighters are sensitive human beings—with real problems—who make mistakes, just like the rest of us. I look forward to seeing him fight again. Mo took responsibility for his banned substance mistake and said that he's taking his punishment and moving forward like a man.
"As the first woman to chair the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Pat Lundvall takes her position seriously. 'I never paid much attention to gender issues, to be quite candid, but any time you are the first at anything you end up with the honor, but also a responsibility, to make sure you don't mess up or make anybody else look foolish,' she said. source
Making someone else "look foolish", like beauty, is also in the eye of the beholder.
Rashad Evans offers Mo support
MMAfighting.com reported UFC fighter, Rashad Evans commenting on the situation, "Mo's so real," Evans said. "When someone says something to him, it's hard for him to divorce the fact that they're saying it to his character and not who he really is as a person. When you say something to him, he gets offended deeply because he's such a real dude. I feel bad for him. He's a champion at heart, and I'm sure he'll find a way to make it back to [Zuffa] or find a way to make it in another organization as a top guy." source
More from this contributor:
Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. She trains with Keith Florian and UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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