Exclusive – Raquel Pennington condemns Sean Strickland’s ‘Hate speech’ pre-UFC 297: ‘Female fighters are here to stay’

Raquel Pennington denounces Sean Strickland Female fighters are here to stay UFC

Raquel Pennington was not a fan of Sean Strickland’s antics ahead of UFC 297 and took the time to discuss how his ridicule could be construed as hate speech.

Entering UFC 297 as the undisputed middleweight champion, Sean Strickland was on top of the world. As boisterous as ever, he showed up to media day wearing a shirt that proclaimed: “A woman in every kitchen, a gun in every hand.” That was just the beginning though, as he’d later go on and spout a number of comments that some could perceive as homophobic.

A video featuring a breakdown of the comments by Sean Strickland during UFC 297 fight week that were perceived to be “hate speech”

Speaking to Lowkick MMA reporter Mike Owens, Raquel Pennington would touch upon the experience of UFC 297 fight week, and address the comments that were made.

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Raquel Pennington draws the line between freedom of speech and hate speech

“Everybody has their opinions, and they’re warranted to how they feel and stuff,” Pennington began, speaking as an openly gay woman. “But you’re not going to tell me how to live my life, and I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. I don’t find the need to judge other people’s lifestyles… He wants to talk about female fighters, but we’re here to stay.”

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“I can respect the UFC for giving a platform to where we have freedom of speech, and they allow us athletes to be ourselves and whatnot, but I do feel a significant difference in freedom of speech and hate speech. And there were a lot of interesting things coming on that end (hate speech)… He talks all big and bad all the time on the camera, and he’s constantly running his mouth, but then you see him in person, and he’s looking the other direction.”

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Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Raquel Pennington went on to say that things said on such a big platform can negatively affect the way some people feel. Saying that Strickland voicing such things on a platform like the UFC “breaks her heart”. But, ‘Rocky’ did hold firm in claiming that the ‘hate speech’ would never hold her back from doing her job in the cage.

What’s your opinion on Sean Strickland saying things that borderline on hate speech?