You might think that in a time where everybody has their own Web site, blog and Twitter account, communication between two individuals would be easier. You'd be very, very wrong. If you need proof, just look at the
It started when Jackson landed a role as B.A. Baracus (you know, the Mr. T character) in the upcoming
White told anyone who would listen that Jackson was a fool for stepping away from guaranteed money in the Octagon for the illusory promise of an acting career. He said that there was simply no way uttering catchphrases while draped in gold chains would make Jackson a Hollywood star. And he's right. If the acting chops Jackson displayed in
But as is often the case when two people talk past each other, it wasn't just what White said as much as how he said it. He's never been one to parse his words carefully, and when he painted a picture of Jackson as an ignorant jock walking away from the only thing he can do well for paydays that will never materialize, it rubbed Jackson the wrong way. And, since vowing to quit fighting altogether was as easy as posting a sprawling manifesto to his personal Web site, Jackson went ahead and called it quits earlier this week.
Ever write one of those e-mails where you later wished you'd clicked 'save' instead of 'send'? Then you know what "Rampage" is going through.
Or maybe it hasn't hit him yet. Maybe, with the promise of
But even without the UFC exercising its legal options, Jackson is going to want to fight again. He's going to miss the reliable paychecks from the UFC, and he might even discover that he misses the feeling of stepping into an arena in front of a stadium of screaming fans. Long days in the gym, well, he's probably not the type of guy to ever miss that.
Before Jackson does or says anything he can't take back, he might want to look at the state of
Jackson might want to consider that little cautionary tale before he posts any more updates on his website. There's a reason so few pro athletes make successful, prolonged forays into acting, and it isn't a lack of trying.
He might not be ready just yet, but before long he's going to need to sit down with White and talk this out. And for his part, White needs to learn not to badmouth his own fighters, even if they happen to be on his bad side at the moment. In other words, both men need to start thinking before they speak, regardless of the medium they speak in.
When you get a couple of emotionally-driven guys in a dispute, more outlets for communication only mean more chances for them to say something they don't really mean. Or maybe something they do mean, at least for the moment, but definitely shouldn't say. Modern communication technology makes it easy to say something you'll regret, but it's still just as difficult as ever to say you're sorry.