An ill-judged joke about pop-star Rihianna during an appearance on ‘FOX Sports 1 Live’ earlier this week has landed UFC star Chael Sonnen in hot water.
Asked for his opinion on boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr, Sonnen responded in typically outspoken fashion.
“Look, Floyd needs to keep doing what he’s doing, which is fighting complete tomato cans who we’ve never heard of before,” Sonnen stated. “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.
“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 it.”
“Too soon? Was it too soon?” Sonnen asked as his joke was met with a mixture of uncomfortable looks and awkward laughs from the other guests on the show.
His comments, referring to a well publicized domestic violence incident between Rihanna and her then-boyfriend, fellow popstar Chris Brown, didn’t go down too well in some quarters, including a scathing piece from the Deadspin site which described him as, “a boorish as*hole”.
FOX Sports have since issued a statement apologizing for Sonnen’s remarks.
“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’s joke was definitely in bad taste, though in fairness pretty much every comedian on the planet has made similar quips by now. It’s not the first time he has made controversial remarks like this, and in all honesty I highly doubt it’ll be the last despite this latest rap on the knuckles.
Truth be told I think FOX might actually secretly be glad of the attention his comments received as the ‘FOX Sports 1 Live’ show has been struggling to get a foothold on the ratings front and so at this stage the old adage, ‘any publicity is good publicity’ may ring true.