Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney has issued a statement on Bellator welterweight fighter Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver after the fighter sent out a tweet about rape on Saturday.
The Bellator welterweight did issue an apology on Twitter a few hours after sending the original tweet which he stated “rape is never something to joke about ever.”
Rebney issued a statement on Saturday night after TheMMAReport.com requested a comment from the organization about the tweet sent out by War Machine. Rebney’s complete statement is below and stated that he found the comments made by his fighter offensive and inappropriate.
“I agree with those who found Jon’s earlier statement to be offensive and inappropriate,” Rebney said in a statement released on Saturday night. “And, while his public apology (“I tweeted something earlier that was stupid, insensitive and wrong. Rape is never something to joke about ever. I sincerely apologize”) surely does not excuse his statement, it does evidence his recognition of the seriousness of the situation and his realization that what he said was offensive, ignorant and hurtful. Since the day I entered this business, I’ve believed that my job was to treat our fighters like human beings and not like property. Human beings make mistakes and sometimes say stupid things.”
“I’m surely prepared to take action in warranted situations as evidenced by recent promotional contracts we have terminated with well-known, popular fighters who have committed assault and/or who have broken the law. But, in this situation, I remain hopeful that Jon will learn from his mistake, redeem himself and become a better man for it and I would like to give him that chance.”
War Machine’s next fight will take place on September 20th at Bellator 100 against Vaughan Anderson in the opening round of the next Bellator welterweight tournament.