The UFC, even in its current status as a company with a “code of conduct,” has long been regarded as a wild west of sorts in the sports world. This has mostly been fueled by Dana White as the constantly cursing figurehead who has been unable, at times, to refrain from lashing out at reporters in slur filled tirades. That White doesn’t operate with the careful professional imaging of executives in “mainstream sports” has always been something that attracted a portion of the MMA fanbase.
Arguments that “this behavior wouldn’t fly in a ‘real sport'” have existed for as long as Zuffa and White have turned the UFC into a powerful sports entity.
And, maybe our first real taste of exactly how a “fuck you” attitude (in the most literal sense) flies when it comes from a UFC personality now associated with the NFL.
UFC announcer Mike Goldberg responded to very harsh criticism of his first turn working an NFL game this Sunday by lashing out at fans. One tweet was a “dude fuck you” while the other politely dismissed the critic as as “douche.” Dealing with jerks on Twitter is a part of the “visible personality” game, and Goldberg failed at handling himself like any sort of professional. He’s not the only person to get blasted by angry kids lashing out on social media after Sunday’s games.
He’s since deleted the tweets, but here they are courtesy of (and edited by) Business Insider:
This is expected behavior though, as Goldberg has often responded to criticism by UFC viewers similarly:
Sometimes he even forgets a comma and insults them like a pirate:
Ultimately, Fox could be pushed to take action. Goldberg is representing the Fox brand and property they pay a crazy sum of money to broadcast, and he also represents the NFL in a way that could lead to pressure coming from there as well.
Or, maybe nothing happens this time and Goldberg is left to learn a very important lesson.
The big leagues come with different expectations and the charm disappears when you’re not playing for the scrappy underdog team looking to fight their way to the top.
And the criticism doesn’t look likely to stop as outlets like Pro Football Talk are still viewing his work in a harsh light, and possibly the product of an uneven playing field that gives extra opportunities to white males, no matter how unprepared:
Goldberg’s primary job is working as a commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and FOX broadcasts some UFC events, so that connection is apparently how he drew the NFL assignment. But perhaps FOX needed someone with more experience in the NFL. An obvious choice would have been veteran sideline reporter Pam Oliver, who seems to be getting phased out at FOX and has been removed from the network’s top broadcast team. Amid accusations that shoving Oliver aside smacks of age and/or gender bias, FOX has insisted that it respects the work Oliver does. So why not demonstrate that respect by putting Oliver in a high-profile position like calling play-by-play?
Instead, FOX turned to Goldberg, and the reviews of his work were harsh: Sean Yuille of the Lions fan site PrideofDetroit.com called it, “the worst broadcast of a football game I have ever witnessed.” But just because the reviews were harsh doesn’t mean they were wrong. Goldberg would be wise to spend less time sparring with fans on Twitter, and more time preparing for his next game.
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