My Open Letter To Michael Bisping » MMA General » UFC Forum » My Open Letter To Michael Bisping
3/1/11 9:14:33PM
I posted a shorter version of this on another thread topic, but I'm going to expand upon it and put up my take in a thread topic so more can see it.

Bisping opened the door for this when he brought the "my kids and my family can see these videos" argument in to play. I don't feel this is fighter bashing, but rather a respectful and insightful look in to the actions of professional athletes.

Dear Michael "The Count" Bisping:

RE: Your Concern About Rivera's Videos

Much was made about your concern that your child and family could see the videos that Jorge Rivera made prior to your contest at UFC 127 this past Saturday. While some will argue that Jorge crossed a line, what cannot be disputed is how you handled the situation with regard to your family and child. I, personally, feel that much of your concern, and most professional athlete's concerns, should be directed toward what your children saw from you.

To often we dismiss the heat of the moment in competitive sports as a worthwhile or, somehow, plausible explanation for our actions. In actuality, those moments in competitive sports, which are often the most trying, are the best time to teach our friends, children, and loved ones the most important things. Emotions are running high, words may have been exchanged, and paychecks, honor, and jobs are often on the line. There's no doubt that these are the most taxing moments in an athlete's career. That being said, they're also the most telling about us, as an individual.

There's nobody disputing the fact that your friends, family, girlfriend, and child can view this videos on the internet. You, personally, feel they crossed several boundaries and were attacks on your family. You also feel, and many might agree, that they were racist in nature. What concerned you most, however, was that your family and child could view them and were receiving flack for them.

Yes, they can see them Michael, but guess what, they can also see your actions on video forever, too.

One of the toughest and most difficult lessons for parents to teach their children is that they can't control what other people say about them. Mean or otherwise. It's a very difficult thing to try and explain to your kids. Often times you're doing this after they've been bullied and are in tears because they don't understand what they did to deserve it. Parents try, as best they can, to tell their children not to worry about what other people say and that they just need to continue to treat people with dignity and respect. Kill them with kindness is usually the motherly advice. We tell them eventually everyone else will see that they're just being an asshole as long as you keep your calm and continue to treat everyone with respect.

Children emulate the actions of their parents. They are the litmus test by which their child compares all else. Most parents can do no wrong in the eyes of their children. Especially in a solid household with strong ties. Children learn from their parents and grow as their parents grow. Our job, as parents, is to instill our best qualities in our children and prevent them, at all costs, from adopting the qualities within ourselves that we know to be faults. We do our best to offer corrective action when we see our children imitating the negative aspects of our behavior.

A parent's biggest wish for their children is that they don't grow up to be just like them. They want them to grow up and be BETTER than them. We ask our children to learn from our mistakes and not to do as we do. We, ideally, do our best, every day, to set an example and a blueprint for success in life.

You missed out on teaching your child this valuable lesson. You were more concerned with what your child and family saw RIVERA say/do, than you were with what your kid and family saw YOU do.

Now, your child can find internet footage of you, his dad, calling another man a "f*cking f*ggot," celebrating after you'd injured a man illegally, and spitting on another human being.

This is not to dismiss the fact that Rivera took shots at you. Nobody would ever claim that Rivera is innocent in this situation. He clearly opened door when he began posting his videos on the internet for all to see. However, you opened the door for these sorts of responses when you claimed that your family and child seeing those videos were what angered you the most.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I would rather my kid see videos of Rivera trashing me than have my children and family see videos of me using homophobic slurs, spitting on people, and celebrating after I had cheated (unintentional or otherwise). I want my children to see me conduct myself, especially in the public's view, like the man/woman I'd be proud to call my son or daughter. I would be ashamed of my children if I saw them act like this in any environment, let alone the national stage. I, too, would be ashamed of myself for these actions.

I'm more concerned with how my children view ME as a man than I am them seeing other people creating videos of me. Teaching my children to comport themselves with dignity, humility, and respect are the most important lessons I can pass along as a parent and, Michael, you failed teaching that lesson with FLYING colors.

You're the one who brought what your family and children could see on the internet in to play, but not once have you recognized the fact that your child and family saw you do every single one of these things rather than taking the high road and giving your child the most important lesson of all, humility, class, and personal growth.

If you're concerned with anything that can be seen by your kids and family on the internet, it should be your actions and language. Your child looks up to you and you set the example for your child. Not Jorge Rivera.

Rather than continue this war of words with Rivera and his camp, I think it would be wise to focus on MY actions as a direct result of my emotions. Rivera will need to explain his actions to his family. What's more important to me, and I would hope to most parents, is that my child doesn't see these things and interpret them as acceptable actions, words, or behaviors. Just as much as Rivera's negative videos of you will live on the internet forever, so too will the negative videos of YOUR actions live on the internet forever.

Josh Webb aka BlueSkiesBurn
3/1/11 9:39:40PM
3/1/11 9:42:00PM

Posted by Kpro

Already Posted

But on a serious note. AC Slater was so cool!
3/1/11 9:43:05PM
Son of a bitch. I just got AC Slater'd.

3/1/11 9:46:00PM
BlueSkiesBurn with an open letter to someone...the hell you say!
3/2/11 4:26:35PM
If there were an award for "Open Letterist" I'd already have that accolade.
3/2/11 6:37:48PM
Bravo good sir, bravo!
3/2/11 8:24:50PM
3/3/11 1:47:11AM
3/3/11 8:41:05AM
Good post Josh and I completely agree.I feel Jorges first vid was funny but his second was very distasteful and don't blame Bisping for being pissed about it.
But two wrongs don't make a right and Bispings actions were far from professional and probably cost him more fans than he made.
Both fighters actions were very"childish".
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