No Room for Hate

Carl Nassib calls out UFC champion for homophobic rants

After making history as the first openly gay player in the NFL, retired linebacker Carl Nassib is still using his platform to push against homophobia in sports. On Tuesday, Nassib called out the UFC for continuing to platform Sean Strickland and his vile queerphobic rants.

Even for the UFC — the last place anyone would expect to find toxic masculinity — Strickland’s history of anti-LGBTQ+ comments are particularly violent.

On Tuesday, Nassib called out the middleweight in a series of Instagram stories. The first was a screenshot of two recent homophobic tweets by Strickland.

“My man you’re gay as f*ck, you’re a cock bandit, butthole pirate, poop shoot loving…” read one tweet.

“I just look at gays like a form of ret*rdation,” read the other, “but I fully accept them. Could you imagine if we seen any species on this planet wake up one day and all chose to be gay. We would all think ‘wow there is clearly something wrong with that species.’ Why are humans exempt? Come on.”

Nassib tagged the UFC in his Instagram story and wrote, “This guy is the absolute scum of humanity. Insane the UFC continues to give this guy a paycheck.”

In the second story, Nassib posted a screenshot of a DM he sent to Strickland weeks ago. “What’s up Sean,” the DM reads. “I really don’t appreciate all the hate and negativity you have towards the gay community. You’re constantly talking about killing influencers and how much hate you have for people like me. I’ve never watched UFC or seen you compete but I’ve been hearing about you lately and it’s f*cked up. I’m asking you as a man and fellow competitor to please lay off my community moving forward. You’ll inspire people who are influenced by you to hurt people like me and nobody wants that.”

In a show of equal maturity, Strickland responded to the DM by blocking Nassib.

Nassib ended the stories with a simple message for other athletes in a position to curb homophobia. “To any aspiring athlete or competitor, humility and hard work will get you to the top, not being a bully or attacking those who are vulnerable,” he wrote. “If you’re strong, be a protector not a monster.”

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