Dear Ronda Rousey
I am not into celebrities. If you want to know what Snooki named her baby, or who in Tinseltown got married and divorced this weekend, don't ask me. I do not consider the people prancing around on my television role models for my daughter, representatives for women-kind, or at all relevant to real life in any way. So twerk away Miley, I do not care.
But I am a martial artist. I learn arm bars and rear naked chokes. I throw punches and knee kicks. I work on traditional katas and do pushups and try to pass the guard and sweet Jesus, I even occasionally throw low kicks which other people check with their shins. ( http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-ufc-20131229,0,7356884.story#axzz2os6WWXVl)
I am not a professional fighter. But I am a woman who loves to fight. And as such, I was thrilled when Dana White finally allowed female fighters into the Octagon. Seeing you armbar Liz Carmouche was incredible. And I could watch you Judo toss people onto the mat all day long. You are a truly awesome athlete.
Couldn't you have just shaken Miesha's hand?
I get it, you don't like the girl. She said some pretty insulting things about your training staff, people whom you consider family. I am not asking you to buy her a beer after the fight. But couldn't you have at least shown some professionalism during that one moment? You just won, after all. And no matter how justified you are to hate her, not shaking Miesha Tate's hand just looks, well...bitchy.
You see, while Miley's ass shaking has no effect on my life whatsoever, your actions do. You are the public representative of me. You are who people think of when they think of female fighters. (Well, the 1% of the population that actually think about these things.) You got out there and showed that women can fight with technique, with skill, that we are strong, powerful, controlling. That we all need to work more on armbars.
You fought against the stereotypes. You showed the world that lady fighters were just as worthy of respect as their male counterparts. And then you contradicted all of that by basically acting like a bratty six year old who just lost at Scrabble.
You may be perfectly justified in not shaking her hand. It doesn't matter. Once you get out of there you can spit in her face for all I care. But when you are in that Octagon you are playing the part of a professional athlete. And respectable athletes shake hands after a game. Win, lose, or draw.
It is what I teach my six year old daughter to do.
Don't get me wrong. Fighting in the UFC is nothing like what I do every day. But there are no 38 year old women who run karate schools and train in BJJ for fun on my television. You are all I got. Please do better next time.
That's all I have to say.
Congrats on the win.
Perhaps I will take Judo next.