Ronda Rousey: Trailblazer, UFC Hall of Famer, and WWE star. Ah, I forgot a couple of her accomplishments: She shared an inflammatory conspiracy video about the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre to her millions of Twitter followers and made transmisogynistic and outright asinine comments about transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. And as of Mortal Kombat 11, she’s the voice of iconic character Sonya Blade. Let’s take a moment to consider how messed up that is.
In 2013, Rousey shared a conspiracy video regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed 26 lives, including 20 children. The video suggested the massacre was a hoax carried out by the government. When called out about it, Rousey started by doubling down.
“I just figure asking questions and doing research is more patriotic than blindly accepting what you’re told,” she said in a reply on Twitter. The following day, she made another tweet saying that she “never meant to insult or hurt anyone” and that she was “sorry if anyone was offended.”
But it doesn’t stop at her sounding like a corporate bullshit apology bot. Take her comments regarding Fallon Fox. Fox is the first transgender MMA fighter in the sport’s history. She had undergone sex reassignment surgery in 2006 but received pushback against the idea that she could fight against other women. UFC president Dana White stated that he didn’t believe Fox should be allowed to fight other women. Former NFL defensive tackle and MMA fighter Matt Mitrione called Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak,” and was later suspended for his comments. Through all this, Rousey declined to fight Fox, insisting that her fellow fighter would have a physical advantage in the ring.
“She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has,” Rousey told The New York Post. “It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.” She also commented that she was glad the UFC didn’t “straight cut” Mitrione for his comments.
Thank the stars that Ronda got the pronouns right, I guess. We can talk about Rousey’s concerns but she definitely could have behaved like less of a jackass. Then again, this is also the woman who once said that if she grabbed her opponent in a choke, she would “hold onto it until she’s actually dead.”
I didn’t write anything sooner because I thought that maybe I wouldn’t have to be the one writing this. As this piece was in the middle of being edited (I’ve been writing this over the course of two days) my peer Danielle Riendeau at Waypoint published an article about Rousey’s involvement, which is heartening. Still, I wish it didn’t have to be queer folks speaking up. Where are our allies on this?
You know what I want to do? Play Mortal Kombat 11. But I would have to be wild to consider it. I’m not obligated to let bygones be bygones, and I’m just not going to. Rousey’s presence in Mortal Kombat 11 is unacceptable. Sonya could have been played by any number of capable actresses, but instead, NetherRealm stunt casted someone whose very presence makes many of my friends feel completely uncomfortable playing Mortal Kombat 11.
Tl;DR, this sucks.