It is always dangerous ground when using archetypes that are typically rooted in American stereotypes to promote two athletes of color.
Yo! What is really good with my tribe?
I’m talking to all my MMA heads of color that know the game for real and actually have a platform to perform their version of black excellence. What is the malfunction?
First Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley tries to rap and now Daniel “DC” Cormier and Derrick “The Beast” Lewis are marketing their main event scrap at UFC 230 this weekend in Madison Square Garden around Popeyes Chicken.
It all started from a press conference where Lewis made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “All About That Cake & Chicken” parody that Cormier did for a Fighter’s Only Awards skit. Now understand that Derrick Lewis is a true disrupter, so on the surface this didn’t really offend me or others that basically tuned in and received the jovial barbershop smack talk. That part is cool.
However, the turn-up happened when Lewis, who is an Instagram star, began harping on Cormier’s penchant for Popeyes chicken, which is his preferred post-fight meal, and has upped the ante with a series of cartoons, memes, and even a special promotion by a Popeyes location in Cypress, Texas that will let everyone eat free this Sunday, November 4th if “The Beast” wins.
Lewis also secured an endorsement deal of sorts, which grants him free food for life from the franchise.
Holy heartburn fight stans, but this is a recipe for disaster. Aside from the playfulness, it is always dangerous ground when using archetypes that are typically rooted in American stereotypes to promote two athletes of color. The fact that it is Lewis himself revving this engine is even more dangerous.
Both Lewis and Cormier are from the South; Texas and Louisiana, respectively. The high caliber position they have been placed in to sell a major pay-per-view fight at the last minute is obviously on both of their minds.
This is the biggest stage that Lewis has ever been on. Cormier is the champ already as a light heavyweight and heavyweight and en route to a potential blockbuster matchup against Brock Lesnar. This fight is more of a playful one for two guys that have genuine respect for one another.
But we must not forget that although we can all appreciate the succulent wonder of a piece of fried gold, in the polarizing times of late we must all understand that jokes like this, when leaked outside the community, can go in unintended directions.
What’s not necessary are these two athletes trading barbs over who loves fried chicken the most. Let’s keep it clean fellas. And by clean, I mean no high cholesterol.