Anthony Geisler, President of LA Boxing, is dealing with Chris Brown’s arrest on criminal threat charges in true eye-for-an-eye fashion. Geisler started a Facebook group earlier this week called, I Want to Fight Chris Brown. (At the time of this post the group had 1,518 members and counting.) He also sent a letter to Brown’s manager challenging Brown to step into the ring with him and “see what it’s like to face a real opponent.” (Link to the news story here).
Commentators on the Facebook group fall into roughly two camps: those who think that challenging a person charged with beating up his girlfriend to a physical fight is counterproductive and ridiculous, and those who think that it’s the only way to teach Brown and others like him that they can’t get away with their abusive behavior. Throw in the fact that LA Boxing is the world’s largest mixed martial arts training center, add a healthy dose of masculine posturing, and you’ve got yourself a violent, confusing mess.
Doesn’t this remind you of something that might have happened around the 17th century, when men publicly fought one another for women’s honor and people were regularly slain in organized duels? (Hopefully it is clear that I am drawing on the knowledge I’ve gained from watching Dangerous Liaisons and A Drunk History of the United States to make this comparison.) Could it be that Geisler is just a history buff, yearning for days gone by?
To be honest, I am fascinated by this. I certainly can’t say that I condone violence, or that I think the right move here is for Chris Brown to get in the ring with a professional MMA instructor (or 1,528 of them). I do, however, think it’s interesting that so many people (men and women) have joined this group and are advocating this type of a response to domestic abuse. Could it be that they feel powerless against domestic violence and want to see someone literally beaten as punishment? Have they lost faith in the US legal system and are therefore looking to take matters into their own hands? Or are they just violent people who are looking to get attention by threatening even more violence?
What do you think? Can a “campaign” like this ever be productive? Is it just a publicity stunt? Clearly, Chris Brown is not going to fight all of these people (as of yesterday he had still not responded to Geisler’s letter). Could it be that this call to fight was issued just to highlight the fact that Brown is willing to hit his girlfriend, but not a trained fighter? Should attention be drawn to that fact, or is it irrelevant?
Share your thoughts in the comments section and maybe we can all make some sense out of this. (Don’t worry, no one will challenge you to a fight if you don’t.)