FanDuel - WFBC

September 01, 2009

Finnish MMA Fighter Sports White Supremacist Tattoos: Finnish mixed martial arts fighter Toni Valtonen has tattoos of a Swastika and the words White Pride, Fanhouse blogger Michael David Smith noticed during a recent HDNet telecast of a Valtonen fight. "I had a crazy and rebellious youth, I made some faults in my past and I am not proud of these marks," said in a statement. "I regret that I ever had these tattoos made. Nowadays, I am a dedicated family man and professional athlete, and I am not involved in any politics whatsoever."

posted by rcade to boxing at 07:12 PM - 44 comments

If he is not proud of the marks, I'm surprised there has not been any attempt at permanent removal/coverage of the tattoos. But because of this story, that may not be so far into the future.

posted by BoKnows at 07:22 PM on September 01

Why are they in English?

posted by NoMich at 07:43 PM on September 01

Along the lines of Johnny Depp changing his "Winona Forever" tattoo to "Wino Forever" after his breakup with Winona Ryder, I would suggest that Toni forgo the cost and pain of a full on removal and get the "WHITE PRIDE" tattoo selectively changed to "HIT BRIDE" (two letters removed and an extra hump for the P -- all yours for the low cost of $99.99) in an effort to win over non-racist wife beaters.

posted by holden at 08:00 PM on September 01

More disgraceful than the beliefs of this one particular loser is the cowardly statement by his promotor that they "do NOT in any way support the views of any individual in particular" - emphasizing the NOT when what struck me was the lumping him into the category of ANY INDIVIDUAL IN PARTICULAR.

Am I to assume that they are trying to protect themselves against backlash from their white brethren fanbase?

posted by MW12 at 08:17 PM on September 01

Or he could take out the H and the T so it reads WIE PRIDE. Then he could proudly start attending women's golf tournaments. Not a bad transition from where he started.

posted by beaverboard at 08:22 PM on September 01

they've been largely ignored by MMA fans and the media, in large part because M-1 has required him to wear a patch over them while he fights.

Thank goodness. If only they could cover up the rest of those hideous looking things. Lets see, white is good, but I'm gonna cover it with vomit green and putrid red!

I am not involved in any politics whatsoever."

He has his politics confused with hatred and racism, obviously. But, it does seem to me that that crowd really likes their MMA.

Good on M-1 for taking their stand.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:37 PM on September 01

He could leave it at HIT RIDE if he's a submission guy. He'll HIT you then RIDE you.

posted by Drood at 12:23 AM on September 02

Amazing. Every specific comment thus far has focused on the tatooed words "white pride" as if this is some heinous statement. Must be the Bill Maher fan club link. I would have thought the Swastika would have drawn all the fiery rhetoric.

posted by sandskater at 12:50 AM on September 02

If the phrase "white pride" isn't heinous, that message isn't getting through to the people who are most attached to the phrase (link NSFW).

posted by rcade at 12:54 AM on September 02

Sandskater: So you're a racist then? I mean I'm just making the assumption that if you find nothing heinous with the phrase "white pride" then you quite possibly are. The only people I know of who wouldn't think it anything other than despicable are racists. And yet here you are, saying "as if this is some heinous statement". Curious...

And really, the best way to deal with cockends like this is to mock them. Mercilessly. The guy is an idiot.

I have an overwhelming urge to see this racist, anti-semetic douchebag in a ring with Brock Lesnar now so they can have a "chat". I'm talking about Toni here BTW.

posted by Drood at 01:07 AM on September 02

I would have thought the Swastika would have drawn all the fiery rhetoric.

Ok, I consider that piece of shit, and anyone who wears it, repugnant, too.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:39 AM on September 02

Simply put, why is Black Pride, Brown Pride, etc. acceptable, but White Pride offensive? If you seriously think that someone being proud of being white is any more offensive than someone being proud of being any other color, than you need to re-examine your own life. I say this, being part American Indian (Yes, I said Indian. I was Indian before people decided that the "Indians" would be offended to be called Indian. Can't be Native American either, we were here before Amerigo Vespucci named the country.) The Swastika, that is another story. That is a symbol of Hate to a lot of Races and Nationalities.

posted by thenewguy821 at 07:52 AM on September 02

"White pride" is offensive because racists have adopted it as their slogan. Words don't exist in a vacuum.

posted by rcade at 09:04 AM on September 02

why is Black Pride, Brown Pride, etc. acceptable, but White Pride offensive

Only one of the three has led directly to the extermination of millions of people. See if you can guess which.

posted by yerfatma at 09:36 AM on September 02

I'm pretty sure it's Charley Pride that did that.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:13 AM on September 02

why is Black Pride, Brown Pride, etc. acceptable, but White Pride offensive?

There's nothing wrong with having pride for your race but the words "white pride" is associated with the Nazi regime which is why when those words are in written form or said out loud, people tend to get offended. Plus, Valtonen has a Swastika near the upper portion of his right arm near his armpit (well placed) so it's not like he was just proud to be white when he got that tattoo.

posted by BornIcon at 10:56 AM on September 02

Simply put, why is Black Pride, Brown Pride, etc. acceptable, but White Pride offensive?

I have never heard of Brown Pride. I am intrigued. Where do I sign up?

posted by bperk at 11:03 AM on September 02

Don't you dare bad-mouth the great Charlie Pride, fraze.

posted by yerfatma at 11:05 AM on September 02

The Swastika is linked to the extermination of millions of people, NOT "White Pride".

I do not question Valtonen's "Racism". Having the Swastika AND White Pride shows that. But to consider someone a racist just because they are proud of their race, is wrong.

I will also state that I agree with MMA's decision to make him cover the tattoos. Not as a form of censorship, but as a form of their right to decide what to show.

posted by thenewguy821 at 11:08 AM on September 02

As to the question on Brown Pride, and where to sign up... Look up Cain Velasquez, another MMA fighter, who has Brown Pride tattooed on his chest.

posted by thenewguy821 at 11:13 AM on September 02

As a symbol, the swastika image can be traced to ancient Egypt. But I'm certain that we are not talking about that.

I don't personally get "white pride", "brown pride", "black pride", or any other group pride. I find it fun to play up my family's country of origin as a source of identity, but I don't swell with pride over being Irish. I never get defensive or bristle at the jokes that can be asociated with being Irish. And truthfully I find the whole concept to indicate an insecurity with oneself. I am proud of myself because that is what I can control.

But to be proud of the color of your skin color or ethnicity is a bit too broad for me. I have found that there are an unlimited amount of assholes in all skin types and ethnic groups. How can you be proud of all of them?

posted by THX-1138 at 11:16 AM on September 02

I have never heard of Brown Pride. I am intrigued.

Mexicans (Chicanos) use the terminology Brown Pride.

The Swastika is linked to the extermination of millions of people, NOT "White Pride".

And the Swastika is linked to Nazis who used the term White Pride which led to the extermination of millions of people.

..to consider someone a racist just because they are proud of their race, is wrong.

That's not why he's considered to be a racist. It's the combination of both the White Pride tattoo plus the Nazi Swastika that makes him out to be a racist.

I have found that there are an unlimited amount of assholes in all skin types and ethnic groups. How can you be proud of all of them?

Assholes and ignorance come in all colors, no one is disputing that. The origin of the Swastik goes back as far as 3000 years but the Swastika that's being spoken of is the one worn by Nazis which symbolizes racism and hate.

Look up Cain Velasquez, another MMA fighter, who has Brown Pride tattooed on his chest.

The term Brown pride didn't lead to millions of people getting killed.

posted by BornIcon at 11:20 AM on September 02

but I don't swell with pride over being Irish

I probably make up the difference.

posted by justgary at 11:24 AM on September 02

You're an Irishman? Oh gary, how I do swell!

posted by THX-1138 at 11:32 AM on September 02

White pride, black pride, latino pride etc can all be construed as racist slogans. Fortunately we live in a country where we are entitled to make any statement we like. This guy should might as well have tatooed ASSHOLE on his back as that is basically what his tatoos say anyway. Of course I will defend his right to have them. If I were him though I would not give guys like Anderson Silva, any more incentive to hurt him than they already have.

There is absolutely a double standard in this country. You can have the Black Entertainment Awards, or the NAACP, United Negro College Fund or the Black Entertainment Television etc. but if you had the White Entertainment Awards, or NAAWP or White Entertainment Television etc. ??

As a country we have gone overboard with political correctness and frankly I am getting sick of it. I also believe that white people are becoming the fastest growing minority and at this point in time are probably the most discriminated against group of all. If only because they are the only group that must remain a NON Group for fear of being judged racist. While other races are allowed to form organizations, and groups to protect their rights, and advance their individual causes, whites are labeled racist for doing the same. Any time race is the basis for inclusion in a group, event, organization, or activity I suppose that is racism by definition.

posted by Atheist at 11:41 AM on September 02

There is absolutely a double standard in this country. You can have the Black Entertainment Awards, or the NAACP, United Negro College Fund or the Black Entertainment Television etc. but if you had the White Entertainment Awards, or NAAWP or White Entertainment Television etc.

You are either being deliberately stupid or have managed to never watch television. Every other station besides a black or Latin station could aptly be called White Entertainment Television.

Ranting about how white people have it bad? Really?!?

posted by bperk at 11:47 AM on September 02

Oh gary, how I do swell!

Honestly, not sure how I feel about this.

posted by justgary at 11:53 AM on September 02

There is absolutely a double standard in this country. You can have the Black Entertainment Awards, or the NAACP, United Negro College Fund or the Black Entertainment Television etc. but if you had the White Entertainment Awards, or NAAWP or White Entertainment Television etc. ??

I've heard this argument many times but what people need to remember is that people of color were held back for years just because of the color of their skin. The Civil Rights movement in the 60's was so that people of color would have the same rights as white people and we're just talking about something that transpired less than 50 years ago and racism is still prevelant to this day. Let's not kid ourselves here.

To include BET, the NAACP and the United Negro Fund in your argument is ridiculous considering those entities would not have been created if not for the fact that people of color were treated unfairly to begin with and had nothing to call their own. No college scholarships, no equal rights and no television shows that reflected on their everyday lives.

I love being an American but America was founded on racism. The Presidents of the United States had slaves of their own to tend the fields, clean their homes and serve their food which is why Abraham Lincoln is looked upon as someone who changed the way that people of color were being treated because he disapproved of slavery even though he married Mary Todd in 1842 whose family were a prominent slave-owning family from Kentucky.

posted by BornIcon at 12:02 PM on September 02

I certainly do understand why the organizations I mentioned were established. As I also understand why now they are obsolete. The past can never be totally absolved and the future will only change when this is no longer an excuse to continue to allow organizations based on racial separation.

Black Entertainment Awards - is this really necessary? I know there is entertainment awards so how can it be fair to exclude "white" entertainment from an award based on race. In fact there is no such thing as a color of entertainment. We have Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Toni Awards, all of which have been awarded to people of all colors. So why on earth would we as a society tolerate a Black Entertainment Award? To me it is just as offensive as a White Entertainment Award.

The president of the United States is a black man, as is the attorney general, senators, congressmen, corporate executives. How much longer will it be necessary to over compensate for sins of the past? It is time to move forward not to keep playing this card. Please someone tell me, what limits this society is imposing on people NOW because of their color? Because as I see it, racial equality has arrived. When I hear someone blame their race for the reason they do not achieve, all I hear is an excuse.

There will always be bigoted people, but they are doomed by their own stupidity to extinction in a short time. This country has recently showed, that the majority of its citizens can judge a man by the strength of his character and not the color of his skin.

posted by Atheist at 02:51 PM on September 02

Oh gary, how I do swell!

Honestly, not sure how I feel about this.

How about confused and intrigued? Or, as I said on another thread, you could use your hands.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:32 PM on September 02

How much longer will it be necessary to over compensate for sins of the past?

First off, I don't think we're overcompensating. Just want to be clear about that straw man argument of yours.

Second, anecdotal evidence--a president, a few Congresspeople, fewer Fortune 500 CEOs than I have fingers--is hardly sufficient evidence.

When economists, for example, can show that salaries, rates of employment, career advancement and similar are reasonably equivalent based on percent of total population we can have this discussion.

When scholars can show similar statistical equivalence for imprisonment, quality of education and quality of housing we can have this discussion.

Until then comments like yours are proof that we aren't close.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:15 PM on September 02

This knee-jerk rush to connect the term "white pride'" to Nazism is indeed, curious. Had the tatoo said "white supremacy" I would understand the connection that many of you have made. The Nazi's, however, were even more selective than that, believing in the superiority of the northern European or "Aryan" race. You know, the tall, blond, supermen and women which were the poster children of the Nazi ideal. In the hierarchy of Nazi thinking many of us, white or not, would not have made the cut. In regard to the negative labeling of those that don't agree with us, I think the Nazi's had a pretty firm grasp of that, too. It's a shame it still persists today in supposedly "enlightened" individuals.

posted by sandskater at 01:19 AM on September 03

In regard to the negative labeling of those that don't agree with us, I think the Nazi's had a pretty firm grasp of that, too. It's a shame it still persists today in supposedly "enlightened" individuals.

So...don't call a spade a spade, and don't call a racist statement with a lot of history a racist statement, and definitely don't call a racist a racist. Because labeling them is "unenlightened".

posted by inigo2 at 09:15 AM on September 03

They are connected on this fighter's skin, sandskater. The swastika tattoo leaves no doubt what he meant by "white pride" when he got that ink, just as "white pride" web sites leave no doubt what they mean either. I don't understand the compulsion some people have to delude themselves about what "white pride" means. It's willful ignorance.

posted by rcade at 09:50 AM on September 03

I don't understand the compulsion some people have to delude themselves about what "white pride" means. It's willful ignorance.

It seems that people want to compare the term "white pride" along the same lines as "black pride", "brown pride". "latin pride", etc., ect...but common sense would tell you that when you hear the words "white pride", the first thing that comes to mind is Nazis, the holocaust and the KKK.

It's great to have discussions like this without people going overboard about who's right or who's wrong which really isn't even important. We should be able to speak freely about racism and the impact it can have in our lives without the negative comments that usually follows but for anyone to claim that Valtonen's tattoo that reads "White Pride" isn't somehow linked to racial prejudice is lying to themselves considering that Valtonen also has the German Nazi Swastika tattoo which clearly indicates his beliefs.

posted by BornIcon at 11:05 AM on September 03

As a country we have gone overboard with political correctness and frankly I am getting sick of it.

You aren't the only one, sir.

When economists, for example, can show that salaries, rates of employment, career advancement and similar are reasonably equivalent based on percent of total population we can have this discussion.

When scholars can show similar statistical equivalence for imprisonment, quality of education and quality of housing we can have this discussion.

When your 'scholars' can show me that so-called disadvantaged groups of people are indeed taking advantage of all the resources available to them, and are putting their nose to the grindstone to achieve equality in the form of hard work and diligence in the above mentioned areas, then I will believe they are disadvantaged.

All the constitution, and this country, are required to provide, is the equality of opportunity, and not equality of outcomes. Wherever there is liberty there must be disparity in economic circumstances because freedom allows the passionate to strive and innovate but compels no man to labor.

Too many success stories indicate that with hard work, the "American Dream" is within reach of anyone, regardless of color. Likewise, complacency and apathy have the same results for all races of people as well.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:09 PM on September 03

All the constitution, and this country, are required to provide, is the equality of opportunity, and not equality of outcomes.

True enough but in a population of 300+M with subsets as large as in this instance equality of opportunity and equality of outcome should be reasonably similar.

Too many success stories indicate that with hard work, the "American Dream" is within reach of anyone, regardless of color.

Again, anecdotal evidence is not sufficient in this debate. How can hard work, for example, overcome the horrific education available to mostly African-American school districts in states like Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia? A handful of exceptions does not indicate that "if only the rest worked harder" they would come away equipped to compete with a kid who graduated from my highly ranked suburban New Jersey school system.

I think that some folks are tired after 40+ years of this discussion and just wish it would go away regardless of reality on the ground. I can understand that but respectfully suggest that being tired is nowhere near a good enough reason to call the game over.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:21 PM on September 03

When your 'scholars' can show me that so-called disadvantaged groups of people are indeed taking advantage of all the resources available to them, and are putting their nose to the grindstone to achieve equality in the form of hard work and diligence in the above mentioned areas, then I will believe they are disadvantaged.

So basically, you are refusing to believe statistical facts about economic disparities in favor of unprovable perceptions that disadvantaged groups are that way because they don't work hard enough. That's an awfully convenient belief.

Everything in this country doesn't boil down to how hard you work. There are systemic disadvantages that can't be overcome simply with toil. Kids who are malnourished have less brain development and do not learn as well as their peers, for instance, and there are millions of underfed kids in this country. Kids who go to school in poor urban districts are getting a vastly inferior quality of education than the ones in rich suburban school districts, a disparity caused by funding schools with property taxes.

We're not anywhere close to equality of opportunity in this country.

posted by rcade at 02:28 PM on September 03

How can hard work, for example, overcome the horrific education available to mostly African-American school districts in states like Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia? A handful of exceptions does not indicate that "if only the rest worked harder" they would come away equipped to compete with a kid who graduated from my highly ranked suburban New Jersey school system.

The primary ingredient that determines educational achievement is parental involvement. Educational spending is irrelevant. And there is no substitute for hard work and a burning desire to better ones self.

We're not anywhere close to equality of opportunity in this country

I believe that we are much closer than y'all think.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:34 PM on September 03

I believe that we are much closer than y'all think.

It's great that you think so, and thanks for throwing in that homespun "y'all" in lieu of any facts to support your position. If only you could have given us a wink too. It's awesome that a thread about racism has devolved, yet again into some nebulous political discussion unrelated to the topic. You think we're so close to a country of equality of opportunity? Why? We heard a lot of this in elections and you vote for these millionaires and billionaires who tell you Mexicans are stealing your jobs, people in the inner-city (stage whisper: "THAT MEANS BLACK!") are just lazy (sorry, not taking advantage of their myriad opportunities) and you vote for them, but nothing changes. As Patterson Hood sang, "To the fucking rich man all poor people look the same."

posted by yerfatma at 03:48 PM on September 03

mkredliner: So by your way of thinking if parents are poorly educated then their kids will be at a disadvantage, right? Since how can they help their children with material they themselves don't know? Parental involvement is a great thing and to be encouraged but cannot make up for lack of decent textbooks, computer availability or quality educators.

If what you said were true, to give a contrary example, parents who can afford it would not pay private school tuition or the various college prep services. I know of plenty of parents who stretch quite a lot to make those payments, which they'd hardly do if spending an hour or two a night with the kids would be better.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:35 PM on September 03

thanks for throwing in that homespun "y'all" in lieu of any facts to support your position. If only you could have given us a wink too.

I say "y'all" because many of us folks from Texas do. But, I'm guessing that you came up with that smarmy Sarah Palin reference (of whom I am no fan of) while you were driving down a narrow Massachussetts bridge.

It's awesome that a thread about racism has devolved, yet again into some nebulous political discussion unrelated to the topic.

And, I see that you are more than willing to contribute to what has turned into a "nebulous political discussion" Uh, by the way, the person of whom the article is about tried to deny that there were political connotations to his ink (or, link, if you will), but it was more or less inevitable that this was gonna come up. Were posters supposed to say "Oh good, I hope that he has a great MMA career despite his offensive tattoos" and ignore the political ramifications of his marks?

You think we're so close to a country of equality of opportunity? Why?

We could bandy about stats and links for days, both of us showing "statistical proof" that the other is wrong.

you vote for these millionaires and billionaires

Nope, never a billionaire. A millionaire or two, yes. Bet you have, too.

who tell you Mexicans are stealing your jobs, people in the inner-city (stage whisper: "THAT MEANS BLACK!") are just lazy

Mexicans are not stealing my jobs, if anything, they are providing me with work. That I am grateful to have (times are tough in the oilpatch these days, just like everywhere else). In the oilfields, hard work is everything, and if you can do the job well, then your color matters not. In fact, I sometimes work with illegal aliens who work their ass off every day, and I don't hear them complaining about not having equal opportunity, and they damn sure don't have a safety net. I get mud and oil and grease on my boots, jeans, and hands every day, many times 7 days a week, and answer my phone at all hours of the day, and believe me, sir, I am not rich. I have failed at business more than once, but I do not let it keep me down, nor do I complain that I am being held down, I try to hold myself accountable for myself, and to be self sufficient the best way I know how. And believe you me, sir, that I truly know that blacks are not the sole proprietors of the institution known as laziness. So before you make assumptions about who I vote for and what you think you know about how I feel, maybe you should walk a mile in my boots.

Stay in school, stay away from drugs, do well in school, and work hard are good values for anyone, regardless of your color. And if you think I sound like Boxer from Animal Farm, you aren't the first to make that comparism, and probably won't be the last. Works for me and countless others. And don't forget, there are white children who have the same disadvantages that rcade and others listed above.

I do like your taste in music, though

posted by mjkredliner at 10:43 PM on September 03

I say "y'all" because many of us folks from Texas do. But, I'm guessing that you came up with that smarmy Sarah Palin reference (of whom I am no fan of) while you were driving down a narrow Massachussetts bridge.

Well played.

posted by rcade at 08:38 AM on September 04

Stay in school, stay away from drugs, do well in school, and work hard are good values for anyone, regardless of your color . . . Works for me and countless others. And don't forget, there are white children who have the same disadvantages that rcade and others listed above.

I haven't forgotten that. I think discussions of race in this country are an easy dodge to avoid that the real problems are those of social class/ income levels, not skin color. The thing that you're glossing over, as bill suggested above, is that staying in school doesn't do much for kids in places all over this country. If your school is terrible and you don't have a social support net (family), all the bromides in the world aren't going to do much for you. Which is how you wind up with a bunch of tattoos screaming "WHITE PRIDE" as if there was something in your town to be proud of.

You'll pardon the dangling preposition. Schooling did me wrong.

posted by yerfatma at 08:43 AM on September 04

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