Are any of you really surprised that Nate Diaz was suspended yesterday for using a homophobic slur? It was inappropriate, sure, but not surprising. Should we brush it under the rug and pretend it never happened? No. Diaz was suspended justly but the outrage I am seeing on places like Twitter is over-zealous I think.
Should we expect professional athletes to act in a professional manner? Sure. But that’s his prerogative if he doesn’t want to act that way. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve our scorn, however eventually, fans should come to expect Diaz’s behavior. You don’t have to like him, you don’t have to root for him, but you should at least understand that he is going to say and do whatever he wants, regardless of consequences. I’m baffled that some people are actually surprised by Diaz’s antics.
That’s one of the reasons why the phrase “Manny being Manny” simultaneously annoyed and interested me. The idea that fans could simply say “Well that’s Manny being Manny,” whenever Manny Ramirez did anything controversial was difficult to swallow. There is a fine line between expecting certain behavior and dismissing it. Diaz’s words shouldn’t be dismissed; however, after serving his suspension, I don’t think that he should be attacked further by the fans. Doing so would be hypocritical, considering that Dana White used similar language when ranting and raving against Loretta Hunt. Most fans seem to have forgiven Dana White for his mistake and he himself has admitted that he has changed his ways since the incident.
Diaz should be punished and encouraged to clean up his language and act in a professional manner. But I don’t expect that he actually will. In some ways, guys like Diaz make the sport interesting with the eccentricities. How boring would the sport and the world be if everyone acted like Georges St. Pierre did in front of the camera? The NFL is getting close to a homogenized, politically correct sport in the media sphere and its exceedingly boring. Unfortunately, Diaz crossed the boundary between eccentric and inappropriate. I don’t expect Diaz to change, however.