MMA stars back Joe Rogan in Spotify squabble
Several well-known names from within the mixed martial arts community have issued a full-throated declaration of support for embattled podcast host and UFC commentator Joe Rogan following his apology this weekend for using racially-insensitive language on various occasions throughout his broadcasting career.
In a lengthy video note posted to Instagram, Rogan admitted that he “f*cked up” after a compilation of him saying the N-word was released online, as well as brief footage of him appearing to compare arriving into a black neighborhood to the film 'Planet of the Apes'.
This latest media free-for-all came hot on the heels of accusations that Rogan - who inked a $100 million deal with Spotify in 2020 - has been complicit in spreading Covid-19 disinformation on his popular podcast, which can often have as many as 11 million listeners per episode.
It has also been reported that as many as 70 episodes of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, have been removed from the streaming service in recent days.
“There's nothing I can do to take that back. I wish I could," said Rogan of his 'Planet of the Apes' reference.
“Obviously, that's not possible. I certainly wasn't trying to be racist, and I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism.”
But despite Rogan's apparent contrition, some big names within the sport of mixed martial arts say that he has nothing to apologize for.
Not a single person believes Joe Rogan is a racist— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) February 6, 2022
I’ll take Joe Rogan over all these bozos!— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) February 5, 2022
“If they cancel [Joe Rogan] every comic Rogan has ever helped should pull their podcast off Spotify. I’m down," wrote Rogan's friend and former UFC heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub in response to a fan query.
“Not a single person believes Joe Rogan is a racist," added former Strikeforce champion and UFC world title challenger Jake Shields.
Former UFC lightweight champion and future Hall of Fame fighter Frankie Edgar wrote: “I’ll take Joe Rogan over all these bozos!"
Personally I hope joe leaves Spotify and finds a site that won’t censor him and remove episodes— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) February 5, 2022
Nothing I despise more then people who don’t support friends when times are tough or they do or say something wrong— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) February 6, 2022
If they can cancel Joe they can cancel anyone. Time to stand up people.— Funky (@Benaskren) February 5, 2022
Shields, meanwhile, who has been an outspoken critic of Covid-19 mandates, added further support for Rogan in a hail of subsequent tweets.
“Personally I hope joe leaves Spotify and finds a site that won’t censor him and remove episodes," Shields wrote.
He added: “Nothing I despise more than people who don’t support friends when times are tough or they do or say something wrong."
Ben Askren, another figure well-known for his achievements within mixed martial arts and amateur wrestling, also suggested that the furore against Rogan is just another example of the woke mob attempting to shoehorn cancel culture into modern society.
“If they can cancel Joe they can cancel anyone," warned Askren.
“Time to stand up people."