Joe Rogan recently blasted MSNBC after network asserted that fitness is tied into far-right political leaning
The discussion originated from a column written by MSNBC’s Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an expert in extremism. In her column, she explored the connection between the online fitness culture and the emergence of far-right hypermasculinity.
Miller-Idriss posits that fitness particularly in the context of mixed martial arts (MMA), is being utilized as a tool to recruit young individuals into right leaning extremist groups.
Drawing historical parallels with WWII Germany regime which emphasized boxing and jiu-jitsu training for soldiers, the author points to present-day Europe as a breeding ground for right-wing training centers within MMA gyms. Specifically, Ukraine and France are mentioned as places where this phenomenon is believed to occur.
While acknowledging the importance of fitness for individuals, Miller-Idriss raises concerns about its potential alignment with “hateful and dehumanizing ideas.”
She wrote: “The intersection of extremism and fitness leans into a shared obsession with the male body, training, masculinity, testosterone, strength and competition. Physical fitness training, especially in combat sports, appeals to the far right for many reasons: fighters are trained to accept significant physical pain, to be ‘warriors’, and to embrace messaging around solidarity, heroism, and brotherhood.”
Joe Rogan expressed his disappointment with MSNBC’s portrayal of fitness as inherently linked to the right wing. Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Being healthy is ‘far right.’ Holy f*ck.”
While some fans considered Rogan’s remarks to be a misinterpretation of the MSNBC article, the majority rallied behind the UFC color commentator.
The response on social media platforms, especially within the MMA community was predominantly critical of the article’s connection between fitness and leaning right.
Even prominent figures like Elon Musk joined in the conversation. Musk tweeted, “Parody & reality are becoming indistinguishable.”
One user added, “Because it’s traditional to reward self-discipline and punish or stigmatize its lack. Progressivism beliefs unsuccessful people are never at fault, and therefore success (which most often comes through discipline) must be redistributed amongst the unsuccessful.”
Another user @robhahn humorously remarked, “Well, if being healthy is “far right” then it’s easy to predict who will be alive to vote in a few years….”
While there are MMA gyms that are used as feeder clubs for paramilitary organizations in war stricken countries, it seems a bit like an overreaction to generalize to this extent.
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