Ronda and Respect

It’s been almost a month since Ronda Rousey faced off against Holly Holm in Melbourne, Australia in defense of her Bantamweight title.  I’ve long been a champion of Rousey’s because of her commitment to promoting young girls and women to be whoever they want to be, not who “society” tells them to be.  

Rousey doesn’t fit a mold, she isn’t the spokeswoman for fitting in, she’s a square peg in a round hole.  But that’s ok.  She’s exactly what she’s supposed to be.  She’s Ronda Rousey.  She’s brash, she’s bold, she’s in your face and she doesn’t back down.  She tells you like it is.  She doesn’t tell you what she thinks you want to hear.  She’s just herself.

Unfortunately there’s a lot of people, and most of them are male, who want to see her lose.  To them, there’s something about a strong female who speaks her mind and dominates a sport at the same time.  People are intimidated by a woman like that and don’t know how to react, so they get defensive and want her to lose and lose badly.  Instead of celebrating the empowerment of a woman who is good at something that she loves, influences a generation of females to be the best at what they do and not let others bring them down, these people want to see her fail.  

Against Holly Holm, they got their wish.  The hate came out in force from people like Donald Trump who tweeted that “she’s not a nice person” (has he looked anywhere near a mirror)?  ESPN College Football talking head and former Heisman winner Desmond Howard tweeted “Rousey came up against a female boxer and got KO’d.  Please stop the Mayweather talk.”  Rousey has been feuding with Floyd Mayweather all year, even going so far as to single him out at the ESPY awards after she won for the Best Fighter.  Even Lady Gaga had to throw her two cents in.  She posted a picture of Rousey being punched by Holm and captioned it “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR NOT TOUCHING GLOVES!”  Really Gaga?  

I admit I’m a Rousey fan, I’ll readily admit it.  But I can’t watch her fight.  Leading up to the Holm fight I wondered if she was stretching herself too thin.  Interviews, training, more interviews, all the juggling she has to do to be Ronda.  It’s a lot to do to be a UFC champion and be a champion for women.  I was afraid for that time when she lost only because I didn’t want to hear anyone cheer.  

Don’t they understand?  Don’t they understand that she is trying to give people hope that can be whoever they want to be?  Don’t they understand that girls are looking up to her and realizing they can follow their dreams?  They don’t have to be whatever someone tells them they have to be? 

But all those people in the crowd see is the woman in the ring not the woman who leads a movement of change.  Now she’s taken it on the chin, in many ways and no doubt it’s breaking her in half, to feel like she’s let herself down and let them down.  Some are only going to applaud and cheer that’s she’s backed into a corner but the time will come, she’ll fight back.  She’s not a quitter.  She knows no other way than to fight and she will fight for those who need someone to fight for them, most of all, she will fight for herself, because we know deep down inside that’s what she is, a fighter.