Israel Adesanya may make his living punching people, but he presents as an intelligent man.
So thankfully the UFC middleweight title holder has seen that posting a video and saying "Bro, I will f…n rape you" on social media was a step way too far, even for the trash talking that is now an accepted part of the hype before a big bout.
Rape is such a horrific crime that it's deeply disappointing he used the phrase in the first place, but it would have been even more unsettling if Adesanya, who has since been dumped as ambassador for BMW New Zealand, couldn't have seen the need for a genuine apology, which he has now made.
"Last weekend fight talk escalated to a point in which I crossed the line."
Adesanya isn't the first fighter to make violent statements. In 1986, Mike Tyson said after knocking out Jesse Ferguson in his first fight on national television, "I tried to hit him and push the bone of his nose up into the brain".
There have been other appalling remarks from boxers.
In 2001 Anthony Mundine, who hopefully has now finally retired for the good of his own health, said of the Twin Towers attacks in New York, "They call it an act of terrorism, but if you can understand religion, and our way of life, it's not about terrorism. It's about fighting for God's law, and America's brought it upon themselves."
Even the great Muhammad Ali, the man who really invented outrageous pre-fight talk, could get it terribly wrong.
As Ali aged we all tended to look back fondly on the witty, sharp barbs he fired against Sonny Liston when Ali first won the world heavyweight title. "He's not pretty enough to be the champ," Ali would say of Liston. A reporter was asked by Ali if he'd ever boxed. "A little," was the reply. "What'd you box?" asked Ali. "Apples or oranges?"
But as charming and quick as Ali could be, when he fought Joe Frazier in 1971 he demeaned a man who had thought Ali was a friend. "Joe Frazier is an Uncle Tom. Ninety-eight per cent of my people are for me. They identify with my struggle. If I win, they win. I lose, they lose. Anybody black who thinks Frazier can whup me is an Uncle Tom." Frazier was deeply hurt. In 2005 he said that "I spent years dreaming about him and wanting to hurt him".
Ali would later acknowledge that what he'd done to Frazier was offensive. "I'm sorry I hurt him. Joe Frazier is a good man." Ali attempted several times to apologise to Frazier, who at first rejected the advances. But not long before Frazier died in 2011 Frazier forgave Ali, who by then was very ill with Parkinson's disease. "I'd do anything he needed for me to help."
Ali was big enough to admit he'd got something wrong. A man with views as fierce as Anthony Mundine was prepared this week to apologise for his 9/11 statement. "Taking one human life is like taking the whole of humanity to me. I feel like I was crucified for that, probably rightfully so. I said it pretty raw and it was dumb at the time."
Now Adesanya has said of his rape comment, "I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was NEVER my intention. I am still growing under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure."
We all make mistakes in life. Admitting them is what makes someone a bigger and better person.
Bravo, Dr Dave Gerrard.
As the country waits for the full rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, Gerrard, a 1966 Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning swimmer, and an Olympic team doctor in 1984 and 1988, said out loud to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB what any fair-minded Kiwi would think.
In the wake of the news that our Olympians going to Tokyo would be going to the front of the queue for vaccines, but would also be allowed to skip the injections, Gerrard said, "If you don't want the vaccine then you give up your place in the Olympic team".
I've seen the International Olympic Committee guidebook for the Games, and while the IOC won't be banning unvaccinated competitors, the restrictions on movement inside the village and at venues is a world away from what would usually happen at the Games. The IOC knows that many of the competitors are coming from countries where the pandemic will still be raging in July.
In simple terms the New Zealand team is lucky enough to be in a rare, fortunate position. As fit, healthy sports people, the Kiwis going to Tokyo have been given the privilege of getting the vaccine ahead of the rest of the country, to make sure they don't catch Covid-19 in Japan, and don't bring it back home.
Unless there's conclusive proof of an underlying health reason precluding vaccination, Gerrard's position is right on the money. No jab, no plane ticket.