Fan Reaction to Paige VanZant’s Sexual Assault is Disgusting

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: UFC women's flyweight Paige Vanzant interacts with fans during a Q&A session after the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside The O2 Arena on March 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The long wait is over, Paige VanZant is promoting her memoir which is now available to the public. References to bullying in VanZant’s past were often ridiculed, but the book has revealed a much darker truth.

The bullying was a result of a terrible experience of sexual assault.

“They move me around,” VanZant wrote, in her recounting of the assault. “They change my position. I fail each time I try to resist, my limbs like wet cement on my body, my brain a heavy fog. I am awake and conscious, but my body feels dead. I know what is happening but can do nothing to stop it. I have no voice or choice but to submit and pray that it ends soon.”

Reactions from fans have ranged from skepticism towards her story to outright advocacy for the perpetrators’ behaviors.

Fan Reaction to Paige VanZant’s Sexual Assault is Brutal

Many media online outlets that had published stories about VanZant’s book and assault, such as MMAJunkie and MMAFighting have decided to shut off comments, as they were beginning to get out of hand. Twitter, on the other hand, was still available for those keyboard warriors.

MMA is a sport that is rooted in chaos and has attracted many people of diverse backgrounds throughout the years. But when you appeal to the “anything goes” or “just bleed” crowd, there is a faction of fans that carry that attitude in all aspects of life.

Just because Paige VanZant fights in a cage professionally does not make her any less of a vulnerable human who is subject to emotions and pain just like the rest of us. She was fortunate enough to gain the promotional support of the UFC and has enjoyed stardom because of it. She has a platform now to share her story, one which might help other survivors feel less alone.

Accusations of attention seeking, lying, and denial of the horror of sexual assault are intolerable behaviors and should not be condoned or ignored in our community.

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