Mixed martial artist Matt Mitrione has issued an apology for his comments earlier this month when he called transgender fighter Fallon Fox a “disgusting freak” who lied about her gender to “beat up women.”
In addition to the public apology, the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization said Mitrione received a significant monetary penalty, and will be required to make amends by working with the LGBT community.
“I want to apologize for my hurtful comments about Fallon Fox and a group within our society, which, in truth, I know nothing about,” said Mitrione in a statement released by the UFC on Friday.
“I now know there’s an important line between expressing an opinion on a subject and being hurtful and insensitive. I crossed that line by expressing my views in an ugly, rude and inappropriate manner.”
In an April 8 interview on “The MMA Hour,” Mitrione called Fox “a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak” after she disclosed on March 5 that she was transgender and had undergone gender reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand in 2006.
The UFC quickly denounced Mitrione’s remarks as “offensive and wholly unacceptable,” and suspended Mitrione for an indefinite period.
The suspension was dropped two weeks later and Mitrione was fined an undisclosed amount. Critics charged the two week suspension meant nothing in a sport where you fight every few months, reported SB Nation.
“Mr. Mitrione has expressed genuine contrition for the harm he caused,” said UFC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein. “Matt is not a hateful person, and we are confident in his sincerity to make amends.”