Chicago Women's Groups and UNITE HERE Demand UFC and Fox Drop Main Card Fighter Over "How to" Rape Video
Today, Chicago women, local groups and national organizations sent a letter to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), FOX executives, and UFC sponsors demanding the cage fighting franchise and television network immediately drop UFC light heavyweight Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson from the Saturday January 26, 2013 UFC on FOX fight for repeatedly denigrating women, including female reporters, and posting a video last year in which he makes light of sexual assault by pretending to rape a woman in a parking garage. To view the letter, click here.
The video, entitled “How to Pick Up a Gurl…Fast,” was posted on YouTube last April. In the video, Jackson pretends to attempt to rape a woman, telling viewers to use chloroform to “help her relax,” and buy zip ties. At one point Jackson states that he hopes his target “got low self-esteem.”
According to the letter: “The UFC must begin holding its fighters accountable for their actions and adopt a meaningful code of conduct…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.“
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, Rape 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 including Father Clete Kiley from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the 8th Day Center for Justice, 20 professors and staff from seven Chicagoland area universities, and labor union UNITE HERE signed the letter calling on the UFC and FOX to immediately pull Jackson from the event.
The UFC has not issued an official discipline of Jackson nor issued a public statement about Jackson's offensive and inappropriate video. Rather than punish Jackson, the UFC scheduled Jackson to fight at the United Center on Saturday.
Because irresponsible remarks and actions in the UFC do not end with Jackson (www.unfitforchildren.org), the women's groups and other organizations are also demanding the UFC adopt and enforce a meaningful code of conduct.
“This is truly appalling and undermines the work we do every day,” says Athanasia Papaioannou, Assistant Director of the University of Illinois Chicago Women's Leadership and Resource Center.
Jen Suh: 312-401-2462
Chris Serres: 702-386-5231