02 Jan Cris Cyborg And JacksonWink Row Over Transgender Comments
Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino defeated Holly Holm in a defence of her UFC featherweight title on Saturday night.
Afterwards a member of Holm’s gym wrote a disparaging remark about Cyborg’s gender. JacksonWink official photographer and media director Mark Aragon wrote on Instagram,
“This dude is tough as hell, that being said he did say at the press conference that Holly was the first one to make his nose bleed! You are my hero [Holly Holm]. See you back in the gym.”
The post was widely and rightly criticised and has since been deleted.
On Sunday, Cyborg responded via her own Instagram account.
“It is not acceptable for an official representative of [JacksonWink] to call me transgender following my fight,” write the champ. She then called for the UFC to refuse Aragon a media credential for future events. “Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the [UFC] and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions.”
It is not acceptable for an official representative of @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma to call me transgender following my Fight. Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the @UFC and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions. @ma2_media 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 Não é aceitável que um representante oficial da @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma me ligue transgênero na sequência da minha luta. Seu fotógrafo oficial recebeu uma credencial de bastidores para participar do @UFC e espero que uma desculpa ou sua capacidade de obter credenciais para futuros eventos do @ufc_brasil sejam afetadas por essas ações.
JacksonWink and Aragon have both responded. They both issued apologies of a sort but also now claim that the attack was inspired by comments made by Cyborg and her team later on that night.
“In response to our media person’s recent Instagram remark about Cyborg, there is a backstory as to why he made his comment,” read a post on the JacksonWink Facebook page. “After Cyborg’s victory, she was heard backstage by our media guy calling Holly a “Bi#%h” and laughing at a photo depicting her own toe in Holly’s eye. They were heard mocking Holly’s performance. Our media guy was defensive of our fighter and space and he used Cyborg’s past history of steroid use, in a knee jerk, response. We were unaware of all the backstage talk and his response on a public forum until yesterday. He regrets putting JW in this position. We don’t condone putting others down. Congratulations to Cyborg and her team and we look forward to a rematch.”
“As the most hated photographer in the world today, I feel its necessary to comment on the recent fall out I’m causing for both Hollys and Cyborgs camps, and their respectful friends, fans, and families,” wrote Aragon on his Facebook page. “At the conclusion of UFC 219, I took the final bus out of the arena back to the hotel and ended up on the same bus as Chris Cyborg(sic) and her team. As I sat in the back I began to hear them cheer and revel in their victory and discuss small parts of the event. A couple things really bothered me. I heard them laughing and commenting on a picture that renowned photographer Esther Lin took of Cyborgs toes literally in Hollys eye from a kick. Cyborg then went on to discuss how during clinches “the bitch” just “stayed and hugged her but she did nothing”. When I got back to the hotel I posted a picture with an inappropriate caption that everyone is now talking about. I was obviously acting out of anger and frustration. My personal emotions got in the way of my professional status which I failed to adhere to. But there is more to it, Cyborg leading up to the fight through her own Social Media accounts accused Holly and our camp of being the most drug failed camp ever. This is a totally fabricated lie and can’t be based on any merit whatsoever. Only one CURRENT athlete from our camp has ever been punished for USADA related issues and I was extremely frustrated with the perception that Cyborg and her fans had painted us as cheaters and losers. Jackson Wink had over 60 UFC fights throughout the world and hundreds of other fighters fighting all around the world at many different organizations. Every fighter has their home team based out of whatever country or state they hail from and come here for training, some of them with their own teams. We absolutely can’t be responsible for each and every one of their daily activities. That being said I am embarrassed by my actions and I sincerely apologize to [Cris Justino] and her friends, fans, and most importantly her family for posting such an ugly misrepresentation of a great hard earned championship retention. I also want to apologize to the members of team Jacksonwink who were effected by that insincere post.”
‘Cyborg’ commented on the JacksonWink post and she is not happy with the apology.
“Your photographer was given media credentials under the assumption that he could remain professional in a work setting,” she wrote. “His transgender comments are not acceptable, and I should not be asked to work in an environment where sexual harassment is acceptable. My management has contacted Dana White and the UFC with my concerns, and moving forward I hope his media credentials are denied allowing a more professional photographer to take his place. If the UFC is to be treated like a real sport then this type of behavior can not be accepted. Imagine if your photographer was backstage at a WNBA finals and called the MVP of the playoffs a man…he would no longer be licensed to work their events. I expect the same support for a company I helped make millions for last night.”