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What will CBS think?

I became violently ill yesterday and still feel like dirt. Then I woke up this morning to find an article on the Southern Poverty Law Center website that reports that “White Nationalist” Melvin Costa competed for the King of the Cage promotion as recently as December:

Last Oct. 18, shortly after Costa’s comments and pictures of his tattoos were republished widely on MMA fan websites, Gary Shaw, the live events president of the parent company that owns King of the Cage, issued this statement: “I try not to allow anyone to fight in the cage or the ring that has anything inappropriate either on their gear or tattooed permanently on their body. And that means either ethnic, or racial, or anything offensive to the general public. I was unaware of the situation but I’m in the process of handling it now. Hopefully, it will never happen again.”

But it did, less than two months later. Costa fought in a King of the Cage event held last Dec. 18. For the first time, though, he lost. Davis, for his part, did not return two E-mails seeking clarification on his league’s regulation of fighters with “inappropriate” tattoos.

In light of what EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw told me back then, I can honestly say I feel even more sick than I already did.

Here’s what Shaw told me on the record when I interviewed him about the Costa situation last October:

“I was unaware of the situation (but) I’m in the process of handling it now,” he said. “Hopefully, it will never happen again.”

Yet even after being made aware of the situation ProElite chose to allow Costa to fight again for King of the Cage. In addition to the Southern Poverty Law Center report, a simple search of Sherdog.com’s Fight Finder shows that Costa competed on December 2 for King of the Cage, losing to Jason Jones when he submitted to an armbar at 4:18 of round 1.

Let me make it clear; I hold no ill will towards Costa (CLICK HERE to read my October interview with him). He’s entitled to his beliefs and is entitled to a right to fight so long as he’s licensed. However, I question ProElite’s judgment of allowing someone with a Swatiska on their chest to represent the company.

From a moral aspect, I think it’s wrong and it disgusts me. But I don’t want to make this about me because people are going to refer to my last name and somehow claim that I am biased (I can’t wait for the lovely Zionist references!). So let’s look at this from an aspect of corporate accountability. ProElite has major business relationships with both CBS and SHOWTIME. If King of the Cage was still an independent organization, I’d have no beef with the decision to allow Costa to fight, so long as he’s good enough. But KOTC is no longer an independent organization and falls under the corporate umbrella of ProElite.

Anytime you allow someone with a tattoo of a Swastika to represent your company, it comes with some major risks. Is allowing Costa to continue to compete for the promotion worth the potential backlash? Is Costa worth the possibility of losing deals with SHOWTIME and CBS? And don’t tell me I’m being melodramatic, if civil rights groups get a hold of the Costa situation you better believe SHOWTIME and CBS are going to hear about the situation and they could be pressured into doing something. If this story gains any traction whatsoever with the mainstream media, you better believe it’s going to cause damage to the company. ProElite had a chance to nip the situation in the bud, and they didn’t.

If you look at the decision to use Costa again after all of the original controversy ensued from a pure business perspective, it’s unacceptable. When you have a major corporate partner such as CBS, situations like this CAN’T HAPPEN.

I’ve asked the question before and I will ask it again, why would you allow someone with a Swastika tattooed to their chest to represent your company? Maybe I’ll get some answers during the course of the day.

157 COMMENTS
  • canuck says:

    Sam – wow. Totally impressed that you’ve kept on this story this way. I know that you’d said when you started the ProElite gig that you’d impartial, you’ve just proved it beyond any shadow of a doubt.
    I couldn’t agree with you more – this damages the companies involved and the sport.

  • Brandon Sanchez says:

    Great assessment of the situation. This could definitely be a problem if CBS hears about it.

  • Todd says:

    Great article Sam
    I read the same article yesterday and was just as offended. I couldn;t agree with you any more. Theres no way this character should be fighting for KOTC, Elite XC or any organization with that crap on his chest. His presence in MMA will only bring out the worst in the fans and fighters. This will untimately make MMA look very bad.

  • Huckaby says:

    Excellent writeup and assessment.

    To play devils advocate to some degree, I think it just gives people a villain they can root against. I really think if they were Latin Kings tattoos or some black power organization it wouldn’t get the feedback that he gets. All over sports you have guys like Don King, face of boxing, who has been in prison for killing a couple of people. Rapists, wife beaters, this guy just has poor ideas and and a very poor decision process regarding tattoos.

    Though no one could argue this could only be bad for CBS and EXC and at the end of the day it’s their business to protect their business.

  • Zantetzuken says:

    And for this reason and more, Elite XC is going to fail.

  • Zantetzuken says:

    Why would anyone allow someone with a swastika to perform? That is the million dollar question. Maybe they didn’t notice it???

  • Dave Greenburg says:

    Why is this even important? So an idiot has a swastika tatooed on his body. So what? Do we not allow freedom of speech in America or freedom to pursue religion?

    Why does everyone get their panties in a wad over some idiots tatoo? Don’t you have your own life to live?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Do we not allow freedom of speech in America or freedom to pursue religion?”

    Absolutely. Just like I am free to express my opinion about the situation.

  • Evan says:

    “Why is this even important? So an idiot has a swastika tatooed on his body. So what? Do we not allow freedom of speech in America or freedom to pursue religion?

    Why does everyone get their panties in a wad over some idiots tatoo? Don’t you have your own life to live?”

    He has every right to have one. And CBS and whoever else is involved has every right to not deal with him.

    See you may not know this but a swastika kind of represents something bad. I suggest you look it up on google or wikipedia.

  • Jackyl says:

    I know it’s a touchy subject and some media outlets could spin it to the utmost negative. I don’t think anyone should be banned from fighting (let alone working) because of their personal beliefs. It’s bad PR for the network execs so that is the only reason things like this would come up. Obviously Gary Shaw is going to make statements like the above on the record, what would you say? As a representative of the company you can’t condone it, so I understand it puts CBS and the ProElite management in a bind and the politically correct thing to do would be to not let him fight. But on it’s face I don’t see anything wrong with him being in the ring with that tattoo. It could make for good drama. And If someone has the balls to get in the cage with that on their chest, let em do it. If they throw him out because of that tattoo, where does it stop? What about Doug Marshall? Alexander Emilianenko? Yes, this is a sport. But it’s a combat sport. Not all of these guys are gonna be former math teachers like Rich Franklin. Some people call Kimbo Slice a street thug. I call him a bad ass. And any fighter that says he doesn’t belong in the cage needs to get in there with him. Then we’ll see who belongs there and who doesn’t.

  • I also agree with you Sam, but if Costa is removed from the organization because of his tattoo, he could potentially sue the company. It’s not a fun situation and Gary Shaw could have avoided this completely by turning Costa away when he saw the tattoos and making up an excuse for not hiring him to fight in the first place. I also wrote an article about this whole situation as well, but from a different perspective.

  • Jeff says:

    Not only is it bad for CBS and Elite XC its bad for the whole sport. There is so much opposition to MMA right now, calling it a barbaric and a bloodsport. Having a blatint racist fighting at this high of a level is bad for MMA.

  • NealTaflinger says:

    A little sensational on the SPLC’s part. My question is this; Is having one known white supremacist in KOTC worse than other sports leagues employing convicted felons or known batterers of women? Is having a swastika tattoo worse than NFL players throwing up gang signs during pregame warm ups? What about the league MVP (allegedly) being involved in a murder outside of a nightclub?

    Racial nationalism is idiot and if I ran a business I wouldn’t be stoked on promoting a guy with those tattoos, but this seems like a tempest in a teapot. When you are paying people to fight, you’re going to attract idiots.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “I also agree with you Sam, but if Costa is removed from the organization because of his tattoo, he could potentially sue the company.”

    In this day and age, anyone can sue anyone over anything. I’m just not sure how much of a case Costa would have. Costa’s free speech rights are protected under the constitution, but so are ProElite’s. If they elect to say, “We don’t think Melvin Costa is a good representative for our company and he doesn’t reflect our political reviews, so we’ve elected to part ways with him,” I don’t see how Costa would have much of a case.

  • matt says:

    Sam, great piece and I agree with you completely. Shaw put his company at stake and now can’t let Costa go because of the tattoo. It’ll be interesting to find out what happens with this situation.

  • Derek B. says:

    “I’ve asked the question before and I will ask it again, why would you allow someone with a Swastika tattooed to their chest to represent your company?”

    he better be wearing a long sleve shirt with no tattoo’s showing at all to work at mcdonalds or a fortune 500 company. Leave your personal life at home while you are at work…thats all I ask.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Is having one known white supremacist in KOTC worse than other sports leagues employing convicted felons or known batterers of women?”

    Neal, we’re not talking about employing convicted felons, we’re talking about employing someone who has a hate symbol tattooed to their chest. The issues you raised are completely separate.

  • Jaeger says:

    #11

    You have nailed it! It’s just simply not acceptable. swastika’s and “I have a small penis” Tats are not going to gain you favor with your mainstream media outlet/partner.

    For that would like to play this off as a “cast him as a villian” situation or an issue of free speech I ask what is the breaking point?

    what finally breaks the line?

  • freakenstine says:

    I don’t share the guys beliefs but come on he has a right to make a living in his chosen profession. as long as he isn’t spouting his rhetoric in the cage and fights well enough to compete at that level then it shouldn’t really matter what he has tattooed on him. if CBS or Showtime has a problem with it they could blur the tattoo out like they do with the dude on Big Brother. or give the guy a marker and write over it. I’ve seen people with stuff written on them before. maybe Jeff Monson shouldn’t be allowed to fight any more either.

  • matt says:

    “In this day and age, anyone can sue anyone over anything. I’m just not sure how much of a case Costa would have. Costa’s free speech rights are protected under the constitution, but so are ProElite’s. If they elect to say, “We don’t think Melvin Costa is a good representative for our company and he doesn’t reflect our political reviews, so we’ve elected to part ways with him,” I don’t see how Costa would have much of a case.”

    sam, while ProElite can release Costa, it needs to be unrelated to the tattoo. If they fire him because of it, they can be sued. If his contract is up and they opt-out of renewing it, that’d be fine. Or if there are grounds to be released as far as performance.

  • Joe says:

    Sam, I agree with your perspective, and I praise the way the article is written. However, I disagree with some of your supporters, because I believe things are being conveniently used to their favor. What if some fighter came up with a communist logo tattoed in his arm? Would anybody say anything? Well, since people like Evan seem to know so much about history, I assume that everyone knows that communism killed many more than Nazis did. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t justify what Hitler and his soldiers did, but I believe that, in this particular case, the hand is being laid a bit too heavy on the CBS executives and on Costa. What I’m saying is that there is a big double standard for these kind of issues, and we should look upon all the other portrayals of beliefs, opinions and ideas.

  • JEFF THE DRUNK says:

    letting this idiot fight for a major promotion is a huge mistake. if elitexc wants mma to become more mainstream and taken seriously they should think twice about letting someone fight who has some neo nazi bullshit plastered across his chest. no other major sport would let one of it’s players get on the field with some hate tatto prominently displayed on their body.seriously would the nfl, mlb, nhl or nba let one of their athletes tarnish thier image by letting this guy represent their sport? hell no. once the mainstream media gets hold of this story wait and see how they spin it into a negative portrayal of mma in general. SPECIAL THANKS TO BLOATED MORON GARY SHAW FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE, GREAT JOB.

  • Evan says:

    “What if some fighter came up with a communist logo tattoed in his arm? ”

    See Jeff Monson

    A Swastika is extremely recognizable and it’s unarguable what it means. It’s even banned in some countries!

    A communist symbol can be obscure and can indeed mean many things. Most people won’t recognize any communist symbol besides a hammer and sickle…which can be debated what it means exactly. It’s even been absorbed into pop culture like a Che Guevara t-shirt. The Swastika means just one thing unless you’re really into Roman history but nobody is going to buy into that.

  • Derek B. says:

    He just needs to remove the tattoo or have it filled in with something. It could be part of his past life. It doesn’t mean that he’s a racists starting to start a revolution. He just needs to be more professional and get rid of the racist tattoos. It’s simple…spend 100 bucks to have the tattoo filled in.

  • ctownhood says:

    Great article. A lot of people were upset when a street fighter (Kimbo) was signed…saying it would be a black eye on the sport. But now a racist? Not what MMA needs at time where mainstream credibility is on the horizon. This will give all the naysayers the ammunition to down the sport. Anyone know how many fights this scumbag is contracted for? I hope none, but if so, I hope they are minority opponents who smash him.

  • jaydog says:

    The bright lights of the big stage of network TV means increased scrutiny. There’s no question that Elite XC will have to make changes to anything that might effect its brand before it’s too late. Will they reform before or after getting attacked in the press or interest groups? Personally, I think it will be interesting to see where they draw the line. Swasticas, porn sites sponsorships, “felony fighters,” women’s MMA, elbows on the ground… all of these may be argued against by segments of the population and could effect advertising dollars and the network’s willingness to do business.

    I don’t mean to diminish the repugnance of Costa’s views by lumping him in with other issues. But, you never know what’s going to effect the bottom line. Personally, I think that there is way too much professionally trained atheletic talent in the world of MMA to have to continue parading unsavory characters in the cage at the risk of turning public opinion against the sport. And this is coming from a civil libertarian guy who’d love to watch Kimbo/Costa fight over alleged racial superiority. That’d be hilarious.

  • Accomando says:

    “…A Swastika is extremely recognizable and it’s unarguable what it means…”

    I thought it was a budhist symbol as well.

    “…A communist symbol can be obscure and can indeed mean many things…”

    Typical western perspective, tell that to the people who actually lived UNDER the hammer and sickle.

  • Accomando says:

    To destroy my own argument, were not in Aghanistan or the Ukraine, so….

    Also, the Commies, while heartless murderer’s in their own right, weren’t ever about a month away from World domination like the Nazi’s were either.

    Also, if I ran pro-elite, this guy would have never been tendered a contract. First of all, he probably isn”t even that good, so he’s most definitely not cost beneficial in any way, shape or form.

  • Evan says:

    “I thought it was a budhist symbol as well.”

    Oh please…nobody is going to get a swatika for Buddhism.

    “Typical western perspective, tell that to the people who actually lived UNDER the hammer and sickle.”

    Really trying to twist what I said for the sake of arguing here…

  • mike wolfe says:

    Like most forms of political correctness, this is silly. MMA fighters compete in an octagon, trying to beat each other senseless or otherwise disable one another. But if they have a tatoo that is outside the mainstream, we’re supposed to hike our skirts and flee the room?

    Furthermore, where’s the consistency? Kimbo and other ProElite fighters have ads on their shorts for pornographers, according to posts on this site. Can any rational person suggest that Costa’s tatoos are more harmful or exploitative than porn? And what about the hoochies in hot pants? You know, women MMA fighters would be more acceptable in Moslem countries if they competed in veils. Sheesh.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    When you think of what a swastika represents, you normally think of violence. Why not let a violent guy compete in a violent sport! I don’t think fighters are really considered role models to begin with. I know i’ll get flamed for this so let me just say that I do think this guy is an idiot, but I also agree that if it was a black panther or some other racist group member it would not even be an issue and we wouldn’t be having this online chat right now!

  • ctownhood says:

    Mike…if you’re saying that hoochies wearing hot pants is on the level of sporting a symbol the represents millions of deaths and hatred, then you have a warped sense of reality. No one says these guys have to be choirboys…but there’s a far cry from being a bit promiscuous and being hateful.

  • Matt says:

    Does anyone hear think Dana will use this against Shaw? I can see him making a comment about it but he may not since it’s not good for the sport.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Furthermore, where’s the consistency? Kimbo and other ProElite fighters have ads on their shorts for pornographers, according to posts on this site.”

    First, I think EliteXC should ixnay the porn influence and the porn references.

    That being said, are you really going to compare a symbol that represents hate to pornography? C’mon Mike.

  • jaja binks says:

    Seriously wtf??

    Get your head out of your ass and get over this!

    Why make such a big deal about this, when the UFC Light Heavyweight champ has a damn panther on his arm, and his mother WAS a black fucking panther??

  • mike wolfe says:

    No. 31

    The point of Sam’s article is that a fighter with Neo-Nazi tatoos is bad for the image of MMA and offputting to corporate sponsors. My point is that focusing on tatoos in the context of MMA is silly, and it’s even more silly when you consider porn sponsors, etc.

    As far as deaths are concerned, you’re again being selective. How many deaths have resulted from AIDS, and how many are projected over the next decade?

  • Evan says:

    jaja binks…

    Did you really compare the black panthers to Nazi’s?

  • mike wolfe says:

    Sam:

    So you don’t think that porn is inherently hateful to women?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “As far as deaths are concerned, you’re again being selective. How many deaths have resulted from AIDS, and how many are projected over the next decade?”

    You’re right Mike, people need to stop having sex.

  • jaja binks says:

    ^^

    NO

    white nationalist to black panther

  • mike wolfe says:

    Not my point, Sam. What’s the answer to the question: Has AIDS killed more people than the Nazis? What will the answer be in ten years?

  • Evan says:

    “So you don’t think that porn is inherently hateful to women?”

    Mike

    You’re comparing morals to genocide.

  • mike says:

    WOW!! excellent stuff. when i heard shaw whispering to kimbo “i love you” after his last fight i got sick. this made me just throw up. not only for mma, but the world. gary shaw is the type of guy who would put his mother in the cage if it sold tix and made him money. Sam, u have to continue to call out gary shaws OAFISHNESS if dana is going to be consistently put to the coals. The man has no knowledge of mma. GARY SHAW=LARDASS SCUM!! im shocked no one has called for a boycott or at the least a VERY APOLOGETIC statement/press conf. i would never spend my money to attend or buy a ppv from elite from what ive seen from the product.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Look this guy was not a part of the holocaust!! He did not kill anybody! Just because he has some pollitcally incorrect tatoos does not mean he is never allowed to have a job!!

  • Evan says:

    “Look this guy was not a part of the holocaust!! He did not kill anybody! Just because he has some pollitcally incorrect tatoos does not mean he is never allowed to have a job!!”

    No apparantly he just appreciates people who did.

    Look, I don’t give an f-ck if he does or not that’s his business. I could not care less what he thinks no matter how hateful. But if I am running CBS I will in no way ever put him on TV. It’s a PR nightmare. That’s the issue of this discussion.

    If you people had a business and he had a visible Swastika that couldn’t be covered not one of you would hire him. A visible employee represents your company. It’s one thing to have someone buried in the back answering phones making a living, another to have them so prominently displayed. He has one fight for EliteXC on CBS and that tattoo is everywhere and a huge outcry begins. It will be all over every newspaper, fox and cnn.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    ha ha haaaaaaaaa!!! I knew that would get you fired up!! It can be covered up and yes I would hire him!!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Not my point, Sam. What’s the answer to the question: Has AIDS killed more people than the Nazis? What will the answer be in ten years?”

    Mike, don’t you think that’s kind of ignorant to associate the spread of AIDS with pornography? There are plenty of people having unprotected sex and most of them aren’t doing it on camera. If only the spread of AIDS was limited to people having sex on camera.

    “So you don’t think that porn is inherently hateful to women?”

    I don’t know, I’m not a big porn guy. I’ve seen a few in my day but I’ve never analyzed it to the extent where I was trying to determine whether it was inherently hateful to anyone. To my knowledge, the women that work in pornography are consenting adults.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Oh okay, so what your saying is that anybody with a questionable tatoo is only allowed to make minimum wage?! and be behind the scenes answering phones!? Give me a break!

  • Derek B. says:

    “So you don’t think that porn is inherently hateful to women?”

    It’s not hateful to women. These women who do porn don’t have guns pointed to their heads demanding that they do it. Plus they get paid very good to do it.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Evan?

  • bjjdenver says:

    Hey, they let Krazy Horse represent their organization. They have a porn sponsored former employee as their poster boy. Diaz leaves his fight flipping everyone off and acting like a punk. Why should having a white power fool be any different?

    This guy makes me sick, but if you are going to disallow him for his beliefs and tattoos, the I think they better take a long look at their roster.

    Of course I wouldn’t want Costa representing my org, but is he any worse than the other guys?

    I like watching KH, Diaz and Kimbo fight, but they certainly raise similar questions. Why isn’t the Southern Poverty Law Center complaining about them?

    Diaz’s antics aren’t quite so bad, but still a bad mark on your org. Kimbo is heading the right direction, but how are you going to have him on your telecast with Reality Kings gear all over? And KH? Constantly in jail and obviously questionable character. Shaw was trying to bail him out so he could still fight a few months ago.

    Like I said, the dude makes me sick, but if you are going to enforce standards, they have to cover everyone.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    #49 was directed at evan #46

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Hey, they let Krazy Horse represent their organization. They have a porn sponsored former employee as their poster boy. Diaz leaves his fight flipping everyone off and acting like a punk. Why should having a white power fool be any different?”

    First, in fairness to Costa, he made is clear to me he considers himself a white nationalist. He never expressed to me that he considered himself a part of the white power movement.

    I’ve blasted Krazy Horse before and I think it was shameful that Shaw tried to bail him out in hopes of having him face Victor Valenzuela on the June EliteXC/Strikeforce show. EliteXC should have severed ties long ago.

    But to tie what Diaz did and Kimbo’s past to Costa’s tattoo is just ridiculous. What Diaz did was unsportsmanlike but it pales in comparison to a guy wearing a swastika. And Kimbo’s involvement with the porn industry was perfectly legal and not hateful or harmful to anyone.

    There’s a HUGE difference between everything you are referring to and it’s kind of scary that you can’t tell the difference.

  • Evan says:

    “Oh okay, so what your saying is that anybody with a questionable tatoo is only allowed to make minimum wage?! and be behind the scenes answering phones!? Give me a break!”

    No. I used the phones as a means to hide someone from the “customer’s view”

    Simple as that.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Sam,you’re right, a criminal past and some ink on a guys skin are not at all comparable!!

  • mike wolfe says:

    Sam:

    Still waiting for the answer to the question, but have lost interest.

  • c-ing_red says:

    Funny thing is, Dave Cryer, another Pro Elite fighter, has the symbol for White Pride Worldwide tattooed on his deltoids. Where is Sam about this?

    It seems that Sam is subscribing to scare tactics and has not done his research.

    Is it the tattoo or the ideal? Because if it was the ideal, then there surely would be a bigger public outcry with some of the other fighters in MMA.

    Never mind the amount of druggies, cons and all around scumbags that infest all fighting. Give it a rest, this isn’t a morality contest. Because if it was, many of us would fail.

  • bjjdenver says:

    Damn, Sam, you really make some stretches and assumptions sometimes.

    I think I made it pretty clear that Costa is a fool who makes me sick.

    I simply stated that EXC has some questionable faces representing their org. The point being that Shaw shouldn’t act surprised about Costa, when he is allowing these guys to represent his org.

    I never said that Diaz flipping off the crowd is equal to Costa supporting Nazi movements, and I think it is pretty poor judgment by you to imply that I did.

    I don’t care who you have bashed or supported, it isn’t about you. It is about Shaw acting shocked, when he has guys with dubious pasts, that he supports almost unconditionally.

    I stand by what I said, if you enforce standards, they must cover everyone.

    And it is kind of scary that you think I consider all these things equal when I made NO statement even close to that. My point was simply that they have many questions surrounding their fighters. I made no mention of Kimbo’s past. i simply stated that he comes to the cage wearing Porn sponsorship all over him and his entourage.

    Maybe you should spend more time reading the posts you are so quick to bash.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    “out of the customer’s view”!! Okay let him fight off camera and then post the results later!! Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Sam:

    Still waiting for the answer to the question, but have lost interest.”

    Mike, I believed I answered all of your questions. Sorry if you’re not satisfied with the answers. If you feel I ignored a question of yours entirely, maybe you should try to re-post the actual question instead of just making a reference to it?

  • bjjdenver says:

    Regardless, thanks for bringing guys like this to our attention. Definitely not good representatives of the sport.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Funny thing is, Dave Cryer, another Pro Elite fighter, has the symbol for White Pride Worldwide tattooed on his deltoids. Where is Sam about this?

    It seems that Sam is subscribing to scare tactics and has not done his research.”

    Is it the tattoo or the ideal? Because if it was the ideal, then there surely would be a bigger public outcry with some of the other fighters in MMA.”

    Normally I don’t get into name calling but you sir are a total Grade-A moron. I have no idea who Dave Cryer is. If I did and became aware of the allegations you just made, I wouldn’t hesitate to address the situation in a public forum. And considering my stance on Costa, why you would question that is flat out idiotic. Why would I call out one guy for a hate tattoo and not call out the other if I was aware of it? What in the world is your point?

    I can’t be expected to know everything that is going on in the world. Right now I’m sure someone is committing an act of murder, but since I can’t see it, how can I condemn it.

    And how have I not done my research? And scare tactics? What are you talking about? You’re not making any sense whatsoever.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Definitely not good representatives of the sport.”

    That much we can agree on.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Why do they need to be a good representative of the sport? Why can’t they just try to mangle the other guy regardless of tatoos?

  • bjjdenver says:

    Agreed, just so you know I don’t equate flipping the bird and supporting neo-nazis to each other, lol.

  • c-ing_red says:

    Exactly my point – thanks for showing your true ignorance of the issues that you are so against. And resorting to name calling. It does seem that you do want to police – but only what you deem to be illegal.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    If this is that big of a deal then i want to see everybody that has a tatoo of a cross kicked out of the sport because i’m offended!!

  • bjjdenver says:

    #65, it isn’t the tattoo, it is what it represents.

    We`are all free to have our own beliefs and to pretty much do as we like. However, when you do something that casts a negative light on your employer, sponsor, etc…, then action should be taken.

    In a time when mma is starting to gain acceptance and big time sponsors, doing things that are offensive to a wide segment of the population is not really good business.

    Somehow, while he may not be fighting on CBS, I doubt if he will have trouble finding promoters willing to pay him to fight, either in spite of his beliefs, or maybe even because of them.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Exactly, just like religion can be seen as negative and hateful as well. So like I said anybody with a cross tatoo should be banned from the sport!!

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Don’t think religion is hateful?…….. ask muslims how much they love catholics!!!!

  • mike says:

    White nationalist, supremacist, whatever. The nazi’s werent against only Jews. If u werent blond haired, blue eyes and fair skinned u were beneath them. The swastica is a symbol of hate and it offends even non-jews (or goyems, haha), like mysef. besides the 6 million killed by genocide, nazis killed plenty of americans, british, french, blacks, handicapped etc……u get my point. I think white supremacist, fanatic fundamentalism, etc have no place in modern day society much less being promoted on television, sporting events, wherever.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    and vice versa for that matter!!

  • King Mah Mah says:

    I think they killed more like 11 million, but i get your point.

  • mike says:

    im christian. i dont hate muslims. i hate the brainwashed muslims flying planes into buildings in my city and strapping dynamite to their kids’ chests to blow up nightclubs and restaraunts.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Look there will always be something that offends everybody, but that does not mean that you give up the freedom of speech no matter how painful it might be. When black comedians constantly talk about their hatred for white people it is seen as funny and acceptable. And let’s face it, black people will be the ones complaining about this the most. Even though it should be the jewish people who are the most upset.

  • Sam I guess Aleks Emelianenko will never get air time since he has swastika tattoo’s as well. Personally I don’t care what some body believes or has tattooed on their body. I know nazified swastikas are offensive to almost everyone but its just a symbol. How many people around the world are offended by crosses? What if I got a athiest tattoo… how many people whold be offended by that? Or like what was previously mentioned… Hammer and Sickles or Stars related to Communism? The commies killed as many if not more than the Nazi’s but they are not as vilified. Look im no Nazi sympathizer but am a student of History. I can understand the commercial aspect of not having people with controversial tattoo’s or apparel. MMA is a relatively vulnerable sport and doesn’t need the attention a neo-nazi or white supremacist would attract. But on the flip side how many guys in the NHL or MLB have ties to white pride? Or what about ex-gang members in the NBA or NFL? Isn’t it illegal to discriminate in business basted on belief? Maybe CBS should just not have him on any telecasts or have a disclaimer read by the commentary crew saying this guy has a right to his opinion and its not a reflection of CBS or EXC or MMA for that matter.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I just feel a need to make it clear that at no point did I indicate that Costa was under consideration to be used for a CBS show or even used for an EliteXC show. He has been limited to smaller King of the Cage shows.

  • islandguy666 says:

    Freedom of speech is not an absolute right in our society.. it exists relative to and in balance with other rights, such as freedom from persecution. Sad that one has to repeat that over and over again to ignorant people. You cannot yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater for no reason, and you cannot promote hate crimes. Try to understand that. The Swastika is a loaded symbol whose meaning is clear, it advocates for racial genocide. There is no ambiguity. Our society has some rules that govern how we relate to each other, regardless of you are sitting in your living room drinking a beer and choosing to pretend otherwise.

    For your information the Nazi’s slaughtered not only jews but poles, roma (gypsies to racist farts like you) the mentally ill, the handicapped and anyone else who was not a supporter, so stop blaming the jews for your misfortunes. That is another crock of shit.

  • c-ing_red says:

    Companies have the right to employ who they deem to be a suitable fit for their company. In this respect, if ProElite deems him to be an unsuitable fit, then they can terminate his employment.

    With that said, trying to police ideals in the real world is the reason why we are warring in Irag right now.

  • Evan says:

    A lot of people have made reasonable arguments for freedom of speech.

    But this isn’t a flag waving freedon of speech issue. Sponsors will not be cool with a f-cking swastika! Sponsors acting in unison run networks and there is ZERO way EliteXC will get the green light to have him on a show.

  • mike says:

    as a human being u should be upset. comparing comedians to hate mongers is ridiculous. comedians try to bring laughter by sometimes making fun of atrocites ro cetain things and situations. hate mongers just want to cause pain. to hate someone for color of skin, race, religion is just being uneducated or not having a mind for yourself or ur just a fuking low-life. no one is saying this guy has to stop being a white supremacist or get his tatoo removed, just that we all hope he would not fight on CBS, who i believe the Pres of is Jewish or that this guy be represented by a corporation that we spend time, $, attention, etc on. i think this article also just brings to light how Gary Shaw is apiece of shit.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    Hey island guy #79, you know what else is loaded? 666 the mark of the beast!! Here we got a guy putting the mark of the devil on his post and thinks he has the right to call someone else ignorant!!

  • NealTaflinger says:

    They are not separate Sam. It’s a matter of whether you want antisocial idiots working for you and representing your company.

    So the dude has a “hate symbol” tattooed on his body. Hire him or don’t, it’s not huge issue to me. My point is that being a criminal asshole is totally acceptable in other sports, this dude just has a controversial tattoo. Would it be different if he had no tattoos but still was on the record as an avowed white nationalist? How is he more of a liability to the company than Krazy Horse?

    I just don’t see the point in getting worked up about it. Outside of prison, having a swastika tattoo just lets everyone know that you’re an asshole. By blowing this issue up into something bigger than it is (an “oops” moment by a promoter), you’re just feeding into the SPLC’s weak attempt to stay relevant.

    Bottom line, if the company doesn’t want to promote his shit, they can let him go. If I owned KOTC, I would and that would be that. I don’t understand getting worked up about something (white nationalism) that poses as much of a threat to society as satanic cults, child kidnappers in white vans, killer bees, or whatever people are wound up about these days.

  • Kevin Spacey says:

    “A little sensational on the SPLC’s part. My question is this; Is having one known white supremacist in KOTC worse than other sports leagues employing convicted felons or known batterers of women? ”

    Isn’t Costa already a convicted felon?? Your kind of shotting yourself in the feet with that arguement. In any case when he opens his mouth and spews his belief before or after a fight thats hurting the sport overall everytime!

  • King Mah Mah says:

    #84- well said man, when is the last time a white supremicist group had a huge impact on anything? I think we can all agree these people are assholes, but no more dangerous today than sars was a couple of years ago.

  • Derek B. says:

    maybe the guy will get the tattoo removed? Then maybe we can close the books on this guy.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    No any white person who is racist in the public eye will be a huge issue until they ban him from the public eye.

  • Evan says:

    “it’s not huge issue to me.”

    But it is to others, namely sponsors. We’re not dealing with “Rockstar” and “Tapout” on CBS. They have to worry about the big picture.

  • King Mah Mah says:

    good point evan. i’ve had enough of this! Looks like the racist got what he wanted… a lot of attention!! That’s why we should ignore these people but just like everybody else i got sucked into discussing it!

  • Echolocating says:

    Costa is an idiot for wearing that tattoo (my personal opinion), but it isn’t directly hurting anyone. The big question is how will EliteXC respond and, more importantly, how will CBS? (Which is what I thought Sam wanted to discuss and bring to our attention; not this morality bullshit.)

    I think CBS will remain quiet unless the media takes them to task, of course. As far as EliteXC goes… this is nothing new for them. I think they like ANY publicity so they could care less. Sure, they may sever their ties with Costa down the road (for public image), but they’re happy to have the attention. Gary Shaw could care less about MMA and “building it as a legitimate sport.”

  • bubbafat says:

    Let me start off by saying that the swastika is a symbol who’s meaning was skewed by an organized political group of psycho’s and sociopaths. If Mr. Costas was a shinto buddhist, would the swastika carry a different message.?
    Not to mention, Jeff Monson bears a number of politically unpopular tat’s, and just get’s asked what they mean to him. I’m not defending this Nazi, I am defending his right to express his beliefs. But I also defend the right of other fighter’s to knock this guy TFO!!!

  • smoogleton says:

    “I just feel a need to make it clear that at no point did I indicate that Costa was under consideration to be used for a CBS show or even used for an EliteXC show. He has been limited to smaller King of the Cage shows.”

    Why would CBS give two shits about what is going on at KOTC? Does this newfound moral obligation on ProElite’s part extend to KOTC Canada, KOTC Australia et al?

  • GB says:

    The SPLC is a pretty shady organization itself and has been widely denounced by different people in progressive politics because of its scare tactics and the way it profits off them. Just Google search it.

    Costa is just a schmuck who according to the SPLC article happens to be the number 10 ranked fighter in his weight category in King of the Cage. How more insignificant can you get? Why threaten Costa’s livelihood as if it was a matter of life or death when you have people like Rampage Jackson that boast a whole track record of stupid comments regarding race? What’s the use of the First Ammendment if you can get someone fired for sporting a tatoo, regardless of how offensive it is?

  • Jaeger says:

    WOW this reaction is just amazing. If I’m not mistaken the title of this article is ” What will CBS think?”

    Fighter with a tat that is 99% of the time associated with hate and Nazi values. Where is the tat?? Dead in the center of his chest right about his “I have a small penis” tat.

    What will CBS Think?

    Nay sayers of the sport or people looking to give MMA their first look tune in and see? A Fighter with a tat that is 99% of the time associated with hate and Nazi values. Where is the tat?? Dead in the center of his chest right about his “I have a small penis” tat.

    What will CBS Think when they are answering a million phone calls asking how this could happen.

    We can all sit around and play games like angst ridden children who are pissed because their favorite underground band got radio air play and now everyone likes them.

    Or we can look at this situation for what it is and try to answer the question that was posed.

    What will CBS Think?

    This is just not going to be acceptable, I don’t care if you agree or disagree with Costa, that is not relevant to the situation.

    MMA is about to be placed on the biggest stage in the U.S. to date. In case some of you have forgotten there is a fairly sizable group of people who do not like our sport, and will look for any reason to complain.

  • bjjdenver says:

    “What will CBS Think?” wasn’t really the question for us. It was the title and more of a rhetorical question, which was cleared up by Sam, when he said that Costa is not/has not been under any consideration for a CBS broadcast.

    “why would you allow someone with a Swastika tattooed to their chest to represent your company? Maybe I’ll get some answers during the course of the day.” was the question posed to us for responses. This is what led to the what is ok/what isn’t, freedom of speech/right to work arguments that have gone back and forth.

    The comments have been about what is ok and what isn’t, as far as representing the sport.

    Much of the argument is about what the tattoo represents and how offensive it is compared to other “statements”/actions by fighters.

    In other words, what if a decent fighter had “SHIT” tattooed across his chest?

    Is it ok for a fighter to be a criminal and still fight?

    Etc, etc…

    And how would we feel about them representing an org/not being allowed to because of the ink or their past.

    I have seen few posts that are anything like angst ridden children would write and overall, agree or disagree, I think there have been many valid points made here.

    And also, i do agree with you about how the sport gets portrayed, especially on the stage that will be CBS.

  • c-ing_red says:

    1. CBS either didn’t do their homework when they signed Elite XC, or they just don’t care….either way, they should shoulder some of this responsibility.

    2. It is obvious that Gary Shaw doesn’t care either.

    3. Pro Elite must be a great company! They allow their subordinates to point out their superiors problems in a PUBLIC forum. If I did that, I would be canned in a second. So allowing people to say and do what they want is a double edged sword, obviously. But at least they are consistent across the board.

    4. Its obvious that up until now, one of the few people in the MMA community that cared about Melvin Costa was Sam Caplan. With that being said, any fan that doesn’t care now, shouldn’t care when it is on CBS, right?

    5. If morality and image is an issue with MMA, well, then MMA needs a morality car wash. Don’t you think?

  • ctownhood says:

    It’s obvious who the real martial arts fans are and who the fans of violence and hate are. People who actively participate in martial arts know that there is respect and honor in combat. So saying that swastikas are ok, because MMA is violent and the swastika is associated with violence is just ignorant. And the AIDS/porn issue is a joke. I am pretty sure that the majority of people who have died from AIDS did NOT work in the porn industry.

  • Danny says:

    whatever the reason he has that tat is irrelevant. if he actually does happen to be on a card broadcasted by cbs, then we’re gonna have the issues. people that r offended by it will blowing cbs’ lines with complaints. i dont think its right ot take away someone’s livelyhood becuz of this but that last thing mma needs right now is someone or something taking it a step back. let him keep fighting all he wants but just dont feature the guy.

  • bjjdenver says:

    c-ing, I’ll respond to ya!

    1. CBS owns Showtime and are heavily invested in ProElite, which has acquired many smaller promotions, one of which is KOTC, which employs Costa, a fighter more known for his tattoos and beliefs, than his fighting. So, as for CBS responsibility, I would have to give them a pass. This akin to Donald Trump being directly responsible for a parking valet at one of his hotels, imo. Couple that with the statement that Costa has in no way been considered for a fight to air on CBS.

    2. I have to agree with you on Shaw. This was my original point, many posts ago. He seemed so shocked and ignorant about Costa, but Diaz flipping the bird and being disrespectful (I don’t consider this anything like Costa), Kimbo being sponsored by Reality Kings (My favorite porn source) and sporting their logo all over and KH constantly being locked up for various crimes, don’t seem to bother him at all. Not that these directly compare to Costa, but they also pose a concern in regards to EXC on CBS.

    3. I think in many ways they are trying to follow the UFC path to success, but they are also doing their best to portray themselves as better. Showing their employees have freedom as opposed to the don’t cross Dana appearance is probably one of those ways. Bottom line for Shaw–No publicity is bad publicity.

    4. As we were watching Cage Rage Saturday night, the topic of tattoos on fighters came up and so did Costa, even though nobody knew who he was but me. I found it funny that this followed after I was wondering what happened to him. Everyone thought it was crazy that he had those tattoos, but few seemed to care, as far as him being a fighter is concerned.

    5. MMA is a strange world. Fighters from many backgrounds, cultures, religions and nations. You have guys like KH that had it rough and never took full advantage of his opportunity, clear to the other side of clean cut , college graduate, olympic hero types and everything in between. While it would be great if everyone had acceptable norm values, there just is no way. Luckily guys like Costa are few and far between and don’t represent a big percentage of fighters and people in general.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “3. Pro Elite must be a great company! They allow their subordinates to point out their superiors problems in a PUBLIC forum. If I did that, I would be canned in a second.”

    C-ing red, you’re a master of talking out of your ass. None of my reporting or writing for ProElite is subject to approval or editing of any kind. When I initially met with ProElite, I made it clear I wasn’t looking to be a staff writer for EliteXC and that I wasn’t looking to do PR writing. They responded by saying they weren’t interested in that either and that they were merely looking for written content for their web play, ProElite.com.

    What I’ve written about the company is in no way subordination, as per the terms of my written employment agreement with the company.

    I write for ProElite.com, not EliteXC. I do not answer to anyone at EliteXC. My boss is Kelly Perdew, who is in charge of ProElite.com. Kelly told me from day one that the company would not attempt to influence my opinion and that they would give me complete editorial freedom. The man has been true to his word.

    Are there any other slanderous claims you’d like to make while you’re at it?

  • JacRabbit says:

    Great article Sam!

    Unfortunately this post spawned some of the dumbest comments to date. People are making this out to be rocket science… it’s simple, the guy has a tattoo that ranks a 10 on the offensive scale to the MAJORITY of the public. This = bad for PUBLIC RELATIONS. Yes, we all agree the guy is a douche for having the tattoo anyways… Yes, we all agree that he has freedom of speech… Alas, he should be still be released. What is so complex about these concepts of effectively doing business with the public?

  • smoogleton says:

    Sam, how come ProElite didn’t just offer to buy 5oz from you and fold it into their own online media holdings? A cursory glance of the stats shows that this site is visited by far, far more people

  • GB says:

    Let’s put this in perspective. Costa is a number 10 ranked fighter in King of the Cage. In other words, he’s never going to make it to Elite XC nor a CBS broadcast. CBS’ reaction shouldn’t be the focus of this discussion.

  • NealTaflinger says:

    Most of us got away from the point. Sam’s question is this – “why would you allow someone with a Swastika tattooed to their chest to represent your company?”

    I think the simplest answer is that a lot of fight promoters are scumbags who don’t care who fights for them as long as they sell tickets.

    The reality of situation is that Costa will probably get Imus-ed, life will go on, and MMA will continue to grow with minor setbacks along the way.

    Now can we go back to talking about really important stuff like how PRIDE sucks and how much of a dick Dana White is?

  • bjjdenver says:

    GB,

    the problem is, this guy is still in their employ and there are people outside of this forum making an issue of it.

    When you take something as controversial as MMA and then get a crazy organization like the Southern Poverty law Center involved, it can easily explode.

    Fans like us may know this guy is not relevant at all to any big-time MMA, but someone like SPLC putting a spin on it, can make it look like a huge issue in the media to the average person.

    I’m also sure CBS will distance themselves from him as much as possible when it is put in their laps.

  • Zantetzuken says:

    Hey Sam, WHITE POWER! LAWL.

  • mike says:

    kelly perdew from the apprentice runs proelite.com? u learn something new every day.

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    PEOPLE, THE NBA MAKES THE PLAYERS TUCK THEIR SHIRTS IN, WEAR SUITS ON THE SIDELINES, ETC….

    ITS CALLED A DRESS CODE.

    IF MMA WANTS TO HIT IT BIG, REACH A BIGGER AUDIENCE, THEY’LL HAVE TO START DOING THE SAME KIND OF THINGS. PERIOD. NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH, RELIGION, OR EXPRESSION. DUMB ARGUMENT TO MAKE ANYWAY.

    (YOU DON’T SEE ANY MORE COMMERCIALS FOR HEAVY-METAL BANDS AT THE BEGINNING OF A UFC DVD LIKE ON THE OLD ONE’S, RIGHT? SAME THING. RENT A DVD OF UFC 40-50, THERE’S A LOT OF ADS FOR BANDS LIKE “HATEBREED”, ETC. THEY DON’T ADVERTISE THAT CRAP ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY HAVE A BIGGER AUDIENCE.)

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    …. ITS A BAD BUSINESS DECISION FOR CBS TO ALLOW OFFENSIVE TATOOS.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    MMA Skool, is there any way you can refrain from using all caps? Thanks.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “The reality of situation is that Costa will probably get Imus-ed, life will go on, and MMA will continue to grow with minor setbacks along the way.”

    If Costa wasn’t Imus-ed already, can we be so sure that it will happen now?

    I’m not saying Costa shouldn’t be allowed to fight, but there are plenty of independent fight promotions in California. Why can’t he fight for one of them?

  • BigMike says:

    Why isnt there the same outcry over Monson? Communism has a body count that would make a Nazi weep in envy but assholes still feel it okay to wear a Che shirt. I also wouldnt use the hate group SPLC as a source of material either.

  • c-ing_red says:

    Sam – So the answer is yes! You do get to write what you want without backlash from your company!!! Thanks for clairifying!!! I am just butt-hurt that I can’t do that. God knows I want to!!

    And its Libel……

  • HexRei says:

    BigMike

    That’s just silly, man. Are you seriously trying to equate Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany? lol… Worlds apart bro.

  • GB says:

    BigMike:
    Monson is not a Communist, he’s an anarchist and that ideology’s body count is negligible compared to Nazism, Socialism or even the U.S.’s interventions abroad. Plus, he’s simply stating his political beliefs. Whether they’re hateful/unpopular/wrong is irrelevant.

    Sam:
    You can go on and on stating that “I’m not saying Costa shouldn’t be allowed to fight” and that “I hold no ill will towards Costa” but the truth is that you do have ill will towards him because of his beliefs (and there’s nothing wrong with that) and you do want to curtail the ways in which he makes a living (which is entirely wrong). Saying he shouldn’t fight for Elite XC for reasons that have nothing to do with his fighting skills is pretty petty and has nothing to do with principle. If you’re so disgusted by Elite XC emplying a white supremacist then you should consider quitting on account of those same principles. Elite XC hires repeat criminal offenders like Krazy Horse Bennett and nobody raises a stink. Costa might be an idiot, but he’s just a thought criminal and in the U.S. that is not punished by law.

  • CBurt says:

    Does anyone think that EliteXC cares? All they care about is the numbers, I think they put on good shows but, do they actually have to market Kimbo the way they do? Is it good for MMA that anyone new to the sport has Kimbo’s illegal streetfigting shoved down there throats every ten minutes? Kimbo actually has pretty good skills why not market that? BTW love this site Mr. Caplan.

  • GB says:

    PS: And no, I wouldn’t want to see you quit ProElite just as I wouldn’t want to see Costa get fired from Elite XC. Your websites and blogs are probably the best in MMA journalism. It’s just that I also wouldn’t like to see someone lose his job just beacuse he happens to sport a tatoo you don’t like (would you have even noticed had he been sporting a tatoo with a Soviet flag? I don’t think so even though both regimes can certainly be compared on account of the millions they killed).

    I’m probably never going to see Costa fight (I’ve seen too many King of the Cages already) and given the negative publicity you’re giving him he’ll probably be edited out of future DVDs. It’s just that I can’t understand all this politically correct zealotry nor how its advocates don’t realize they are affecting someone else’s livelihood. You and I both know that if he goes to fight for other promotions in California he’s going to maake even less than the peanuts he probably makes at KOTC.

  • BigMike says:

    “That’s just silly, man. Are you seriously trying to equate Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany? lol… Worlds apart bro.”

    HexRei, your response is exactly what Im talking about.

    “Monson is not a Communist, he’s an anarchist and that ideology’s body count is negligible compared to Nazism, Socialism or even the U.S.’s interventions abroad. Plus, he’s simply stating his political beliefs. Whether they’re hateful/unpopular/wrong is irrelevant.”

    He’s got a big ol’ hammer and sickle tat on his leg so he was a Lenin fan at some point. Congrats to him for moving onto a more utopian and retarded ideology. Just remember to make your really offensive tats celebrate left wing ideals and its all okay. And isnt the solution to all this is to just not put him on Tv? Costa can fight for a living but hes not guarenteed to do so on television/

  • D says:

    Dave Cryer’s myspace for anyone curious.

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=11881590

    For what its worth, he has a reputation around here for being a really nice guy and not expressing racist beliefs. A lot of SoCal guys get into this scene then grow out of it – see American History X, not far off from reality.

  • GB says:

    “He’s got a big ol’ hammer and sickle tat on his leg so he was a Lenin fan at some point. Congrats to him for moving onto a more utopian and retarded ideology. Just remember to make your really offensive tats celebrate left wing ideals and its all okay. And isnt the solution to all this is to just not put him on Tv? Costa can fight for a living but hes not guarenteed to do so on television”

    I didn’t know he also had a hammer andd sickle but whenever he’s been interviewed he’s claimed to be an anarchist, not a communist as YOU said before. In any event, I could care less because I don’t subscribe to any of the ideologies mentioned before. All I’m saying is that if we were to be politically correct and remove from sight anything that offends our delicate sensibilities then we’d have missed out on a lot of great fights, starting with some of Monson’s. He’s a great fighter and I don’t care if his tatoos make someone else cry. The same goes for Costa. I watch MMA because I like the sport. I don’t care about the fighters’ personal lives or their political views. Krazy Horse is a thug and nobody objects to him fighting. Rampage has a history of racist comments and nobody complains. It’s not a left/right thing. It’s just American PC ideology run amock.

  • Frank Wallace says:

    I read Sam’s interview with Melvin Costa and find Melvin’s reasoning rather faulty. It appears he is unable to grasp and interpret very basic historical events related to race and their significance. Let me explain my reasoning.

    About 60 years ago, The Nazis indiscriminately murdered in cold blood over 6 million Jews and other races whom they deemed inferior and a threat to the purity of the white race.
    Additionally, based on the “beliefs/convictions” of white supremacy, over 10 million Africans were taken from Africa, bought, sold and systematically abused like cattle for 4 centuries in the US.These are recent unembellished historical facts. They have historical meaning.How is it not possible for thinking man to see the links? Ideologies of white racial superiority or nationhood have resulted incalculable damae to other human beings.

    Costa talks about racial pride and mixes in culture. Culture is specific to society and not race. There is no such thing as “racial culture” that is determined by genetics. Melvin Costa should understand that culture and race are distinct concepts and cannot be used interchangeably. Culture is sociological convention that can have many productive values.Many different races can have the same culture9Americans).All whites don’t have the same culture(White Eastern Europeans and White Canadians) Race is an external manifestation of genetic traits that deal with physical preference. How can physical appearance without regard to other any other qualities be of any real or imagined value? So what is there to be proud off?
    Introductory Anthropology, if Melvin Costa believes in science, might even inform him on the process of raciation (development of human races) considered by reknown anthropologist Sherwood Washburn to be a thing of the past with no anthropological purpose or mandate for distinction.
    Free speech/expression is allowed in America but does Melvin Costa know what “fighting words” are and that American law and justice institutions punish them.

    A Swaztika was the official political symbol of Nazi party of Germany responsible for mass murder, so when a MMA fighter Tatoos this on his chest he is also breaking the law in addition to insulting and threatening all who happen to be primariy non-white. Why should the MMA community
    condone a crime and allow Melvin to express things racially insensitive things that others lose their job over.
    In parting, i have one comment for Melvin if just 6o years ago more than 6 million”whites” had been murdered by others because of their specific genetics traits or had been traded, owned and abused like cattle for 400 years with no pay by others because of physical appearance then he could possibly say his race was under attack and threatened but that is not the historical and current reality in America or anywhere else.Prison reality is different from mainstream reality. He can learn a lot from the human species and adapt to his new environment and survive like the human race or become extinct. Please Melvin do us all a favor and don’t hurt the image of our beloved sport of MMA.

  • Grape Knee High says:

    It is topics like this where you find out who the idiot fans are and who the worthwhile human beings are. Anyone who can find fault with Sam for expressing his opinion as “politically correct zealotry” is: 1) a closet racist; 2) is a complete waste of skin.

    Costa has a right to express his beliefs.

    We, as fans, also have a right to express our beliefs that Costa is a scumbag and have a right use that leverage to pressure ProElite into not extending his contract or not offering him any more fights.

  • ctownhood says:

    Well said Grape. Yes, we know this is America and freedom of speech applies, even to racists. But, I wonder if all the people defending Costa would be doing the same if he were gay, and had a rainbow tattoo. Somehow, I doubt it……..

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    “MMA Skool, is there any way you can refrain from using all caps? Thanks.”

    WHAT IS THIS?! IS ANYBODY HEARING THIS?!! YOU CAN’T INFRINGE ON MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!!!!!

    Just kidding. Sometimes I get carried away with the all caps. Sorry.

    Seriously though, I’d like MMA to become more mainstream. More money into the sport, etc. But companies will have to start laying down dress codes or acceptable appearance policies for that to truly happen.

  • GB says:

    Ctownhood, I would be defending him if he was barred from fighting just for being gay. It would be an arbitrary reason to disqualify a fighter and completely unrelated to his athletic ability. In other words, it would be the same as what some people are attempting to do with Costa just because they don’t like his tattoos.

    Nobody’s saying the guy has an inkling of an idea of what Nazism is nor that his views are historically factual. Why? Because when it comes to MMA, it doesn’t matter what he thinks. The guy hasn’t committed any crimes (unlike Krazy Horse or even someone like the UFC’s War Machine) and to the extent his remarks are offensive, he has said nothing that’s more racist than many of Rampage’s comments in the past.

    As for Grape Knee High’s comments, the only waste of skin here is someone who’s not willing to tolerate free speech. The real test of free speech is when people with unsavory views are allowed to express them freely. Of course you can protest the fact that Costa fights for KOTC, just as he can sport the tattoos he wants without having to ask for your permission. I wouldn’t sport them just like most normal people in the world, but that is irrelevant when it comes to defending his freedom of speech.

  • Grape Knee High says:

    “The real test of free speech is when people with unsavory views are allowed to express them freely.”

    You are confusing freedom of speech with employment. No one is stopping Costa from saying what he wants. Nowhere in the concept of freedom of speech is there some guarantee of continued employment or the idea that the public needs to give him a platform for disseminating his ideas.

    All freedom of speech guarantees you is the right to speak your mind without governmental censorship or incarceration. Private employers and companies are not bound to provide every random moron a forum for their ideas.

  • GB says:

    That’s true, but neither are they entitled to fire him just because his politics in the private sphere are not to their liking. I guess that after this stink they’ll probably kick him out anyway and there’s nothing he’ll be able to do but fight for $300 in small shows. It’s not as if a C-level fighter can battle it out in court. Still, this witch hunt is disgusting to me, especially considering how we are talking about a company that’s not particularly concerned with the sport’s image. Trying to post bail for Krazy Horse is but one of the examples that’s been mentioned, but how about advertising a live chat with Nick Diaz by alluding to his well known love for marijuana?

  • GB says:

    In academia, where ideas really count for something, you still see a lot of professors getting away with murder and just about espouse the most whacky views ever simply because they are protected by their tenure. Why is it that in MMA, where a fighter’s personal beliefs shouldn’t count for anything, you get people trying to get someone fired just because his tattoos offend them? What’s the use of freedom of speech if by exercising it you get fired?

  • Grape Knee High says:

    GB, I thought for a moment you might have some intelligence, but I think it’s back to the “waste of skin” pile with you.

    The fact that you call this a “witchhunt” and that you’re concerned about the career opportunities of a guy who is espousing GENOCIDE on his body means — and excuse me, I’m taking advantage of my freedom of speech here — that you’re nothing but a small-minded, white trash piece of shit.

  • Sergio says:

    Personally, I think his tattoos are disgusting and offensive. Then again, I have a tattoo of the outline of Texas with “I’m from Texas… eat a dick” written inside.

    Bottom line is you can get whatever put on your body that you want and no one can stop you.

    However, I can’t walk into a 2nd grade classroom with Satanic, racist, etc. tattoos covering my body and not expect to get booted even if I am the best teacher ever.

    Costa represents ProElite as an employee and having a swastika tattooed on his chest will be a PR nightmare for them if this hits the mainstream.

  • JacRabbit says:

    “…I would be defending him if he was barred from fighting just for being gay. It would be an arbitrary reason to disqualify a fighter and completely unrelated to his athletic ability…”

    Who the fuck said this is about fighting ability? There happens to be an industry (investors in the case of KOTC) here worth protecting.

  • JacRabbit says:

    …to add to my above comment, i’m not directing to gays, but instead this whole argument as a whole.

  • GB says:

    Grape Knee whatever:

    I’m not even white but I know for a fact you’re an idiot. I never insulted you and actually tried to reason with you even though as the stupid asshole you are you started calling me names off the bat. I knew I wasn’t going to convince you but I thought we might have an intelligent discussion. What a waste of time. Esposuing genocide is offensive, but it’s also protected speech. Whatever this guy claims to stand for, he hasn’t hurt anyone other than your fellings. Deal with it as an adult.

  • Grape Knee High says:

    “Whatever this guy claims to stand for, he hasn’t hurt anyone other than your fellings. Deal with it as an adult.”

    Says the guy who is whining that MMA fans are using their freedom of speech to denounce Costa for his idiotic views. Maybe once you stop whining about how we’re ruining Costa’s supposed career, people will take you seriously. If Costa can’t pursue a fighting career for his stupid tats, it’s his own goddamned fault.

  • GB says:

    I could care less about anyone’s career. It doesn’t affect me personally in the least. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of demanding that someone be fired and at the same time claiming you have no “ill will” towards him. This is just a blog discussion so get a life and don’t blow it out of proportion. While you’re at it, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? If you don’t like the fact that Costa works for them, stop watching ELITE XC and its affiliates’ events. If like some others here you happen to work for them or ProElite, then quit if your politically correct principles mean so much to you. People are asking Gary Shaw to be responsible and consequent while they are behaving in the exact opposite way.

  • GB says:

    Plus, if you’re worried about the impact that a C-level fighter in a C-level league will have on MMA, then you are even more stupid than I thought.

  • jj says:

    There was also a guy in KOTC (I think) recently that had the a SS tattoo…one on each of his triceps…

    It was actually pretty funny because he also had plump breasts lol

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jesus, how many of these guys does KOTC have fighting?

  • ctownhood says:

    “Plus, if you’re worried about the impact that a C-level fighter in a C-level league will have on MMA, then you are even more stupid than I thought.”

    All fighters start out as “c” level or maybe even lower. But what if this guy starts KTFO people, and rising on everyone’s top 10….is this a guy you want representing the sport? MMA is in it’s infancy..and couldn’t overcome something like that. The NFL is established enough to survive PR nightmares (Vick, Ray Lewis, etc). The mainstream media work use something like Costa to slam the sport any chance they got

  • Frank Wallace says:

    Appears to me, the same idea is shared by most just expressed differently.

    We all seem to agree that free Speech is protected by the Constitution and that Melvin Costa has this right.

    However, some kinds of free speech can offend others’ sensibilities and when that happens the(others) have a right to respond verbally and through applying political, economic and social pressure to right the wrong or stop the offense. This is also freedom of speech.

    Some kinds of free speech (specifically those deemed harmful) can provoke consequences for the speaker.

    For example; expressing/showing sexual thoughts,drawings,pictures,internet clips in the work place that clients or coworkers find offensive can get a person fired. Also, racist comments in the work place and in public office can get a person fired too. This happens all the time and is not at odds with the Constitution.

    Melvin Costa can easily be fired by his employers(Proelite) if their clients and shareholders find his free speech (Swaztika) offensive. Sure he can continue to express himself but doesn’t mean he will be able to keep his job. He is a grown man and free moral agent who must decide what
    consequences he can and can’t live with.

    Another, real world example is that those guys in this forum who are cussin’ each other can easily be banned from this forum by the owner.They can continue to cuss each other just not in this forum. Is it not Sam’s prerogative to make that decision if it makes sense for his website? As i said before the rules of prison do not apply in civilized society. In MMA, Melvin must play by the rules of corporate America and not the penitentiary or face the consequences.

  • Sergio says:

    I think Frank just ended this thread.

  • ctownhood says:

    Well said Frank. Five Oz. needs a “Best Comment On A Post” award. 😉

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    We would ya know but Jiu Jitsu Guy would just clean house.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Frank’s comment post might be one of the best in this history of 5 Oz.

    Frank, do you mind if I just copy and paste your post and use it as a response in case anything like this comes up again?

  • GB says:

    Frank,

    Thanks for an insightful and intelligent post. I agree with most of it as well as the fact that you didn’t stoop to insult those who don’t share your opinion. Having said that, I still think most places would not fire someone just because he happens to sport an offensive tattoo. They would do so, however, if the person in question explicitly conducts himself in an offensive manner and there’s tangible evidence beyond someone’s opinion that his conduct is disruptive of the workplace and actually threatens other people.

    I know your post wasn’t concerned with this but there’s a few questions that nobody has answered and, if the interest in this discussion is still here, I’d like to see addressed. Would those who are criticizing Shaw and Elite XC be willing to stop patronizing the company and/or working for it if it doesn’t fire Costa? I believe that would be the consequent thing to do. Also, wouldn’t it be an egregious double standard to fire someone on account of how he could damage the company and yet keep on hiring convicted felons or people that have made repeated racist comments in the past? Finally, I seem to remember another irrelevant fighter with a bunch of offensive tattoos. His stupid name was the “L.A. Giant” and he fought in one of Pride’s biggest events, the Grand Prix. Did it affect the company in any way? As far as I know, no, even though as a fighter he’s just as irrelevant as Costa.

    (And just for the record, I say this as a libertarian. I have no interest in justifying racism)

  • ctownhood says:

    Cory Peterson is “LA Giant”. And you’re right, he has a bunch of racist tats as does Aleksander Emelianenko.

  • JacRabbit says:

    “I still think most places would not fire someone just because he happens to sport an offensive tattoo…”

    We’re not talking about “most places”, were talking about a company in a rapidly growing industry which has VERY strong ties to the media. In addition to that, the partnership with CBS is new–there is much to protect. And lets not forget that the rest of the industry will be greatly impacted by the way that this specific company conducts itself moving forward.

    “Would those who are criticizing Shaw and Elite XC be willing to stop patronizing the company and/or working for it if it doesn’t fire Costa?”

    Sure… and lets also stop their families from eating for a week too while they try to find another job since Shaw is a douche. As far as I’m concerned, the majority of large corporations are crooked, as is our government… (another debate) Would this cause me to quit work? No. Would this cause me to leave my country? No. I’m sorry, but I think no one has answered this question because its a dumb one…

    “Also, wouldn’t it be an egregious double standard to fire someone on account of how he could damage the company and yet keep on hiring convicted felons or people that have made repeated racist comments in the past?”

    Again, you miss the points made above… Yes, it’s a double standard because Shaw is a douche, but regardless, Costa is already garnering negative media, so he needs to be snipped (reference the concepts of business discussed in various posts above)

    “Finally, I seem to remember another irrelevant fighter with a bunch of offensive tattoos. His stupid name was the “L.A. Giant” and he fought in one of Pride’s biggest events, the Grand Prix. Did it affect the company in any way?”

    PRIDE is not a US company, nor is it in any way affiliated with a major television network, what does this have to do with this debate? In any event, Japan has different laws/policies, social standards, culture, history, blah blah blah… Very few of us are capable of arguing from an eastern point of view.

  • Evan says:

    ““I still think most places would not fire someone just because he happens to sport an offensive tattoo…”

    Not true. It wouldn’t be worth the HR headache so he/she would never get hired. In a PC world an office cannot risk such things.

  • j. says:

    historicaly speaking the swaztica has absolutly nothing to do with racism, it symbolizes the wheel of life, eternity, reincarnation and a shit load of other stuff. the symbole is thousands of years old and originates from asia. it is and has been used by tibetan monks, 2500-3000 years ago by aryan tribes of present day iran, ancient indo-european nomads in india and i recently saw a picture of a mcdonalds in korea in which the neighboring buisness had one painted on their wall. catch me if i’m wrong but none of these people seem very white. hitler hijacked it because he wanted to create a thousand year old riech or empire and the swazy was perfect for that. so in the grand scheme of things there ain’t nothing wrong with it, unfortunatly dipshits like costa have no clue about any of the swazticas larger history and tarnish it with a bad name.

  • Evan says:

    “unfortunatly dipshits like costa have no clue about any of the swazticas larger history and tarnish it with a bad name.”

    Yeah but Hitler kinda beat him to it….

  • j. says:

    evan: i ain’t a nazi apologist i’m just telling some well documented historical facts about the swastica which ww2 can’t change. i for one despise everything hitler’s germany stood for a lot of reasons, but i also have some personal ones. one of my grandmas spent ww2 as forced labor in hamburg as a teenager after watching her family get shot for being part of the polish resistance, while my grandpa who married her spent all of ww2 minus 3 weeks as a prisoner of war; after which he committed suicide because of depression problems. my other gramps stormed normandy and i’m proud of all of them.

  • JacRabbit says:

    J, I think Costa already made clear his stance as a “white nationalist”. His use of the swastika is clearly in line with the generally conceived concept about the symbol, not anything to do with ancient Asia.

  • Frank Wallace says:

    Sure Sam you can use post 142.

    GB, regarding post 147. Costa will probably get fired because of what his Swastika tatoo symbolizes. He must be aware of the possible consequences of such a decision. One might even ask the question does he stand to gain more or lose more by his decision? Let’s explore the probable meaning behind this apparent madness.
    What doe he stand to gain?

    Melvin’s deliberate decision to expose a Swaztika tatoo front and center of his body guarantees that Media attention will be focused on him(Melvin Costa the man)both prior to (its already started in this forum) and after his termination by ProElite.
    It is a risk that he’s clearly willing to take perhaps to focus attention on his political beliefs about race& culture as well as his fighting career. If his gambit succeeds, it gets people and the media talking. Millions will know Melvin Costa, the MMA fighter and the”White Power” proponent (I didn’t before Sam’s post).If/when he gets fired and sues ProElite for discriminating against him for promoting discrimination(mindboggling), and gets a settlement, he is better off financially(especially if he is not a great fighter?) and can retire early.

    If this situation gets enough media attention, all kinds of mainstream and interest group pressures will force ProElite to act. As a business enterprise seeking profit through advertising sponsorships, it won’t risk negative exposure. So this might be a forseen &calculated reaction to Melvin’s initial play.

    What does he stand to lose?
    If the media doesn’t bite or buy it then nothing happens. More people know who he is and what he believes and he goes on being Melvin Costa.
    If he gets fired and doesn’t get a settlement, he loses his job @ ProElite but gets exposure for his beliefs and his fledgling career.

    He really doesn’t stand to lose much. If he really wants to continue fighting anywhere he can just cover up the tatoos and keep his racial ideologies internal but his goal must be mass exposure or he wouldn’t risk getting fired.

  • Jamie says:

    Wow he has a tattoo that-you-don’t agree with so lets all talk about taking away his rights as a person. Why dont you bring up the gangmember Kimbo which is fighting for them too. There are videos everywhere of him making derogatory statements about whites. You are filled with white guilt and are ultimately racist against your own race.

  • Bryan says:

    First off, i can defiantly understand how, letting a fighter with a Swastika tattoo can jeopardize the liability of the show. Mainly because of so many ppl have sticks up their asses. It can also make the sport look bad to alot of ppl. BUT There are many other fighters who make it look bad all in their own.

    You can not deny someone their rights to fight though, simply because of his tattoos or his beliefs. The sport is about fighting. If he is a well trained, well mannered fighter. LET HiM FIIGHT.. its his right. Stop being pussies. What he does outside the octagon ..is not ones business, you think kimbo or rampage are boyscouts outside of the octogon? Doubtful.

    Grow up ppl. This is about someones rights. And its about MMA. He isnt fucking running for president.

    Get over yourselves and stop being what you hate.

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