Czech martial arts organization Oktagon MMA bans contestant because of Hitler tattoo
Wrestler Radek Roušal will not enter the Oktagon MMA tournament today - the organization will not let him into the match because they found out he has a portrait of Adolf Hitler tattooed on his right arm. "We are dismissing Radek Roušal from the tournament. We did not know what kind of tattoos he has. After learning what he allowed to be done - out of youthful stupidity, as he desccribes it - we decided that explanation is not enough for us right now and he will not enter the tournament. Nobody with such a tattoo should ever appear in an Oktagon photograph, not to mention starting one of our matches," the organization posted to social media.
Roušal was scheduled to compete in the stand-up style with the Slovak fighter Nikolas Krivák. "In our productions it cannot happen that you'd come here looking like that. We have a clause about that in the contract, we could fine him. For the tattoo on his chest as well [apparently an SS-officer's cap worn by a skull, which could also reference the SS Totenkopfverbände, the unit responsible for administering the death camps]. No way! It's absolutely justified that there's an outcry. We didn't study what he looks like, neither our photographers or our cameramen noticed the tattoo. Nobody spoke of it beforehand... We did not know about it, certainly not," Ondřej Novotný, Oktagon's promoter, went on to say.
As for Roušal himself, he claims to no longer sympathize with Nazism and says he will have the tattoos removed. "I grew up in a problematic community, and that's where the tattoo comes from. At that time I didn't know what to do with my life, I was young and the tattoing was foolishness. Later I began doing martial arts, which have brought me to an absolutely different life and perspective on the world. I regret many of the tattoos I have, I will re-tattoo them all eventually. I also want to apologize through this statement," he told news server Extra.cz.
Muay Thai Brno, Roušal's home gym, also addressed his tattoos. "People of all nationalities and skin colors meet at our gym, we collaborate with different nonprofit organizations, including those dedicated to working with minorities. At the same time, however, we also give a helping hand to those who have managed to learn from their errors and mistakes," the gym posted to social media, adding that they had addressed the situation with Roušal and that he has long had an appointment scheduled for January to remove the tattoo.
Similar cases from the past
Oktagon previously dismissed figher Aziz Karagolu from a match against Karlos Vémol. They ascertained that Karagolu planned to enter the arena accompanied by a jihadi anthem.
Roušal is not the only person in MMA circles to have experience with neo-Nazism or racism in his past. News server Romea.cz recently reported about a match fought by Filip Grznár, a man convicted of committing violence against a group and its individual members when he expressed his approval of the commission of a felony and was fined CZK 15 000 [EUR 600].
More than three years ago, Grznár produced and published a video in which he expressed approval for the murder of a Romani man on a housing estate in Chomutov and threatened to murder other Romani people himself. His recent match was part of a tournament produced by the I AM FIghter organization, the main promoter of which is a formerly active member of the neo-Nazi National Resistance, Petr Píno Ondruš.
Other similar situations have also had to be addressed previously in the sport. In 2013, organizers canceled participation in a martial arts tournament for Hungarian boxer Attila Petrovszky, who also had a portrait of Adolf Hitler tattooed on his chest together with a Nazi swastika and a portrait of the modern neo-Nazi icon from the British neo-Nazi band Skrewdriver, Ian Stuart Donaldson.
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