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FOX Issues Statement Apologizing for Chael Sonnen’s Rihanna Remark on FOX Sports Live

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Chael Sonnen at the UFC 148 Open WorkoutsUFC fighter and Fox Sports broadcaster Chael Sonnen has become famous in recent years as much due to his gift for gab as his abilities in the Octagon.

Sonnen’s flare for phonetics, however, landed him in hot water following a recent appearance on Fox Sports Live. He was there to discuss Jon Jones’ upcoming title defense against Alexander Gustafsson, and served on a panel discussing the hot topics of the day.

The conversation shifted to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s recent boxing title defense and record-setting pay-per-view. Being a combat sports veteran, of course, Sonnen weighed in, infuriating many viewers with his comments.

“Look, Floyd (Mayweather) needs to keep doing what he’s doing, which is fighting complete tomato cans that we’ve never heard of before. I’ve never seen anybody in the history of America get so rich and so famous off of having complete wimps throwing punch at their faces,” said Sonnen, before unleashing the comment that pushed the hot button for many viewers.

“I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, ‘Well, it’s happened before, what about Rihanna?’ Shame on you, classless. I will not stand for that. I will not stand for that.”

He paused briefly before adding, “Too soon? Was it too soon?”

Aside from her popularity as a musician, Rihanna was in the news a few years ago after her then-boyfriend, fellow singer Chris Brown, was convicted of felony assault and sentenced to five years probation for attacking her.

Following the blow-up over Sonnen’s comments, FOX issued the following statement to Deadspin.com:

FOX Sports regrets the comments Chael Sonnen made during last night’s edition of FOX Sports Live. They were an inappropriate attempt at humor that Sonnen acknowledges shouldn’t have been made and he apologizes to anyone who may have been offended by his remarks.

Sonnen has not publicly commented on the situation outside of the statement from Fox.

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  • anonmoose

    Chael…what a legend.

  • Gary Gilbert

    I don’t think he or Fox should apologize for anything. It was a joke.

    • Ray Lane

      I agree, no apology needed for that. Anyone ‘offended’ by it, likely would have found some other bogus reason to be offended 10 minutes later…… besides, more people know about the comment because of the apology than would have seen it on FSL

    • Chicago

      I can appreciate a good joke but where is the line we don’t cross. gay jokes, rape jokes, dead baby jokes? I’m black and I still think their are a handfull of good black jokes. but what crosses the line?

      • BobLemons

        The line is when you harass someone personally. If you make comments in any situation where people have the choice to stay and listen or walk away then the person taking offence is at fault.

        Telling a racist joke is just a joke. Chasing a black dude down the street while shouting them at him is not.

        In an ideal world you should be able to be as offensive or prejudiced as you like as long as you don’t force your opinion on those who don’t want to listen. But it’s not an ideal world, and freedom speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequence, so people have to adjust accordingly.

        • Chicago

          I like that rule. then again I’m a stand up comedian. as an American I fell that it is your right to say anything you want, racist, sexiest, just plain stupid. and if your on tv, I feel that the # of viewers should be the deciding factor on if u went to far. when it comes to Paula Dean. she had 1 or 2 shows after the whole nig*** thing and her ratings actually went up. I would have kept her on & again I’m as black as a chalk board.

          • Rence

            Overall i agree with you 100%, but youre showing your age here man, they dont use chalk boards anymore. now they all use dry erase boards. Those happen to be white.

            Though, most often the markers they use on them are black because it shows up better…theres a “white” joke in there somewhere but i’m far too intoxicated atm to find it lol.

          • Chicago

            Get home safe brother.

      • Chicago

        Someone thumbs down me for asking a question? really?

  • KingLettuce

    LOL @ Chael rustling the Jimmies!

  • onehitwonder

    No Bob, Rihanna gives good blows that’s how she got into the music indust.

  • onehitwonder

    She’s not offended that Chris B beat her ass, so i don’t think a comment would do it either.

  • onehitwonder

    I haven’t watched boxing sense Iron Mike left.

  • Maddawgmar

    Rihanna has decided to date the Oakland Raiders, because they don’t beat anyone.

    • kixxxers

      That was GOOOD!

      • james j

        How about Jax Jaguars. They re horrible. Need to sign Tebow to insure an 0-16 season.

  • Darin

    She went back to the dude that beat her. F**k her, Sonnen can say what he wants. No apology necessary.

  • John Bunch

    I’m usually Mr. PC anal-retentive about certain issues, but he phrased everything correctly, giving himself an out by supplying the self-recrimination in the context of the joke. Bill Hicks would be proud…FOX just launching a pre-emptive PR strike…just like they normally advocate launching pre-emptive Cruiser missile strikes except for now, suddenly. Oh…too soon? Was it too soon?

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    More people are offended that FOX issued an apology over Chael’s comment. Irony.

  • Adam White

    Boo f$&kin who

  • james j

    Chael is sort of funny. Looking.

  • Werdoomb

    Another attempt by Fox to pretend that anyone in the world, let alone Rihanna, care about what MMA fighters have to say about people way out of their league.

    This is like having Chael Sonnen make a comment at Barack Obama, releasing an apology, and trying to pretend that Chael and Fox are influential enough to be careful of what they say. Maybe if it were O’Reilly I would understand the apology and this article.

    Let us not kid our selves. Until MMA fighters paid and treated like real pro mainstream athletes, in the eyes of the public they are just clowns at a backyard circle.