'Zero tolerance' should mean just that

Keith Mills/Sherdog.com

Bellator MMA released welterweight War Machine after reports that the fighter was the primary suspect in a Las Vegas altercation.

Editor's note: This post contains graphic images.

The pictures are gut-wrenching. Via Twitter, Christy Mack released photos Monday that she said were from a brutal beating at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, MMA fighter Jon Koppenhaver, aka War Machine.

Mack's face is swollen, and in a written note she said that 18 bones around her eyes were broken, as well as many of her teeth. The rest reads like a statement to the police. At one point she says she thought she was about to die before finding the strength to run away when Koppenhaver was distracted.

The most surprising element to the story is what Koppenhaver's MMA organization did once it heard about the alleged violent assault. Bellator president Scott Coker released the fighter and told TMZ, "We have a zero-tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence."

Coker didn't imply that there would be another side to the story or that Mack had instigated her trip to the hospital in some way. It didn't matter that Mack works in the porn industry, which can mean women don't get taken seriously in matters of abuse. No one talked about what a good guy Koppenhaver is, or that this was just one alleged bad night.

Although you could question why Bellator would sign War Machine in the first place, for Koppenhaver's employer, zero tolerance meant just that -- even without video evidence of the aftermath.

With that in mind, consider that Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick violated the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and received a four-game suspension. That's two more than Ravens running back Ray Rice received for knocking out his then-girlfriend, now his wife, in an elevator.

And those aren't the only troubling stories in the spotlight.

• Former Heat player Greg Oden is due in court after being charged with a felony for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face.

• Hope Solo, who is accused of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew in June, is set to stand trial Nov. 4.

• Oscar Pistorius' trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, concluded last week. A verdict is expected on Sept. 11.

The upshot is that sports leagues had better get a grip on this issue. It's not going away, and it's horrifying.

Here are some other things that have been on my mind in this bummer of a week:


Rest in peace, Robin Williams. The beloved actor apparently took his own life, and I saw a lot of Twitter reactions about suicide and depression. It got me thinking about how much we focus on optimism as a culture. At other times, I see posts about discarding the "negative" people in your life. Look, it's impossible to keep up the overcaffeinated "I'm terrific!" all the time. We could all use a little more gentleness in our low moments.


Ma'Lik Richmond, one of the two teens convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, is back on the high school football team after serving time for the crime.


Rory McIlroy may be the PGA Championship winner, but he has also won the title of Worst Ex-Boyfriend Ever after saying his split with Caroline Wozniacki has been "for the better in terms of my golf."

That probably stings as much as a reported three-minute breakup call. On the flip side, Wozniacki could respond by winning the U.S. Open. At any rate, this calls for another all-girl Miami yacht vacation. (Call me...)


I have no use for Shark Week, which has now become at least a month. Can we please move on to the next Rubik's Cube or bacon or whatever? Whale Week?


I'd like to watch a show called "Sons of Archery."


Lastly, thanks to the genius PR staff at FSU who brought us the #AskJameis campaign. From the story: " 'Who gave you better protection last year -- your offensive line or the TPD?' TPD is shorthand for the Tallahassee Police Department."

FSU's revised campaign should be: #AskJameisAFootballQuestionOnlyNotAboutAllegedSexualAssaultOrCrabLegTheftButFootballAndInANiceWay.

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