“I wish any one of you would come to a Fight 2 Win event and say this s*** to her face,” wrote F2W’s Seth Daniels on Facebook on August 11th. The post dropped less than 24 hours after world champ Gabi Garcia’s main event loss to fellow female black belt Nathiely De Jesus at F2W 121, motivated by what promotors experienced as an overpour of haterade from armchair black belts who couldn’t win a backyard food fight let alone a major grappling event.
Trolling perpetrated by hobbyists is as much a part of grappling culture at this point as pineapples or Showyoroll resale accounts. And while female grapplers tend to attract a certain degree of extra critical vitriol, men from Gordon Ryan all the way down through your local Grapplers Quest podium are used to online abuse as well. So Jiu-Jitsu Times asked fight honcho and former competitor Daniels why he went out of his way to comment on the trolling this time.
“Everyone talking appearance, attacking a woman behind a keyboard kills me,” Daniels told JJT. “It all bothers me, but with [Gabi] in particular because of how sweet a person she is.” Garcia is widely know as a kind and humble practitioner who is benevolent with fans and competitors alike.
When it comes to hating female fighters, regardless of discipline, commenters tend to stick with one of three hateful thesis statements: the fighter only getting attention because she’s a slut, the fighter only winning because she’s on steroids, or the fighter not actually being a woman at all. Garcia tends to have to deal with the latter two most, including being called a “dude” who “beats up grandmas” and complaints about PEDs like this one which appeared on Reddit:
To be fair, it’s common knowledge by now that Garcia failed a 2013 drug test, popping positive for the banned substance clomiphene. Garcia was stripped of her IBJJF medals that year as a result, though USADA later determined that Garcia’s use of clomiphene–a substance which offers fairly conservative performance enhancing benefits for women and is used primarily to combat infertility–was not negligent. They also stated that the fighter “was not at fault for the positive test.” Like many female athletes who present with clomiphene but no other PEDs, Garcia was not banned from competition.
Daniels feels that fixating on that past now is unfair.
“She was just tested at Pans, where she won double gold,” he says, referring to Garcia’s recent USADA testing which was negative for PEDS. Fans of Garcia have been quick to point out the hypocrisy of vitriol lobbed at Garcia for assumed steroid use as it rarely extends to the many, many world class male grapplers who have clearly used, or are currently using, steroids as part of their competitive lifestyle.
Regardless of the PED issue, Daniels is over trolling and will remain so. He specifies that his message came exclusively from him, as Garcia’s never actually complained to him about being drug across the internet.
“She knows it’s just part of the game,” he explains, “but that shit has to get to her. Saying she’s a dude? All that shit has to kill you.”
If it’s a any consolation to Daniels, or Garcia, you haven’t really achieved success until some slob on the internet is slamming you for accomplishments they could never achieve, so. At least there’s that.