UKMF Announces Ban of Liam Robinson for Parody Logo
By Mike LNg
In what is becoming typical of the moves by the World Muaythai Council (WMC) and their associate governing bodies, Liam Robinson has now apparently been banned along with an initial threat to ban Liam’s Gym Northampton gym of the United Kingdom. *This ban of the gym is now rescinded and includes only Liam himself. *The ban prevents Liam from participating on any UKMF sanctioned event for one year. As a fairly obvious joke Liam Robinson and some close friends have been sporting badges with the parody logo pictured above. Basically as an inside joke encompassing Liam Robinson’s friends (including Liam Harrisson)and gym mates they also sported shorts with the parody of the United Kingdom Muay Thai Federation’s (UKMF) logo that served as the punchline for Robinson’s ‘Team Scandal’. And from an outsider perspective well, it is funny. But apparently not everyone gets the humor in it.
In a public post the UKMF has responded to Robinson’s humor with the following:
At the recent 8 man tournament hosted and promoted by Dan Green (Fight Sport Events Champions Trophy tournament) one of the fighters elected to publically impugn the joint integrities of both the UKMF and WMC by adorning his fight shorts with ‘altered’ logo’s of both organisations.
The UKMF have announced an immediate expulsion of this fighter from all UKMF promotions for a period of one year from the date of offence.
His Club is also expelled as are his fighters and students.
The WMC are pursuing legal action for deformation of copyright image and looking to impose a ban on this fighter from all WMC sanctioned
promotions worldwide. Until the fighter has been made aware of the consequences of his illconcieved actions his identity will remain with held.
Liam Harrison himself responded:
the logos on the shorts were made up by me and Liam (Robinson), we jokingly said it and got badges made for our shorts along with are TS logos and
given to most the guys who are in Team Scandal as a joke…as we are called Team Scandal we decided when we fight we could JOKINGLY be
UNITED KINGDOM MUAYTHAI SCANDALERS or UKMS thats what our logo was, or the fighters who fought internationally could be WMS WORLD MUAYTHAI
SCANDALERS…..pls if anyone really finds this offensive just say, cos we all thought it was pretty funny…iv got a pair of shorts like it,
so have at least 10-15 others IT WAS A JOKE…..and im sorry how many people were looking forward to ROBINSON VS LEE GREEN cos i know i was
and now one of the most anticipated fights in the uk domestic scene aint gonna happen next month cos of this nonsense…i will happily put
my own show on i will sanction it as TS promotion and put that fight on
In regards to the copyright lawsuit threat it would appear Robinson and his friends do in fact have a legal right to use the parody logo. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_and_parody for details regarding this legal right.
My commentary on this latest move to ban fighters via blacklisting follows:
Normally, I wouldn’t even report something of this nature based on how small of an action it really was. But the sanctions UKMF have decided to take border on nearly ridiculous and pretty immediately offensive to my moral and ethical sense. Now the WMC is allegedly to be involved in the beginning of litigation towards a fighter, blacklisting his entire camp and one would have to guess all the people from the gym serving as officials for UKMF sanctioned events. *This ban of the gym is now rescinded and includes only Liam himself. *I sincerely hope the Muay Thai community of the UK and the world recognizes the basic wrong in this dictatorial move. And early signs seem to indicate that they do.
How ridiculous is it to have an allegedly independent sanction’s name emblazoned upon clothing anyway? How often do you see official Sears logo underwear or Microsoft branded beer coolers? Fighters never complain about being a walking billboard for UKMF or WMC yet both still occur. Has any of these independent sanctions given anything to all the fighters freely carrying their brand names around on their bodies while fighting in the ring? In that context walking around with a logo of any company is a fairly ridiculous and ironic exercise anyway. Whatever happened to fighters with shorts reflecting their own name or their gym’s name? There’s some element of hypocrisy here when the WMC and UKMF get free brand name advertisment without recognition or reward for the fighters yet sanctions are easily doled out with no regard to how trivial of a matter it is to begin with. Is the payment for being ad space for low moral independent sanctions the honor of fighting for the sanction? Fighters and gyms need to begin declaring their independence from this base brand name marketing of people who obviously don’t have the sport’s best interests especially its fighters as paramount concern.
Stephan Fox himself has come to my site to decry how I was allegedly trying to discredit his organization. Let me counter by saying the WMC’s activities in the USA, Australia, the UK, Canada and other countries do far more to discredit WMC than I could ever hope to through my efforts. And the basic offenses are covered from simple incompetence to overt manipulation. WMC is their own worst enemy and certainly not a friend to the men and women in the sport of Muay Thai. The events happen with no input from me. At most I comment on it and the activities of the WMC unfold wholly on their own.
I’ve spoken on the WMC in the past for how they conduct their business, their record of black listing, lack of rankings and the recent Australia debacle with WMC illustrates their many issues even further. However even for the WMC and their associates this is a new low. The basis of this black list is now a joke logo which is clearly in every sense a parody. Yes, this hugely punitive blacklist against one of the rising stars in the UK comes from the basis of a 5 cm square of laminated plastic and a patch on shorts. The offensiveness of UKMF’s sanction is only slightly greater than it’s absurdity. Maybe the UKMF and their associates are thinking the logo carries weight based on how the WMC and themselves conduct their business. In any scenario is this how an independent sanction is expected to behave? Where is the balanced and unbiased perspective a true independent sanction is supposed to have? How thin is the skin of someone who elects to conduct business in the public eye for a sport that is viewed publicly in front of an audience of thousands on a regular basis? If this is any example of the UKMF’s model of maintaining integrity in the sport I score it as a massive failure.
Now of course, some form of damage control for the UKMF and WMC is taking place in that they just plainly don’t talk in public any more. Though publicly announcing their ‘sentencing’ for Liam and his gym (that gym was threatened with ban at first) were apparently not an issue. In typical fashion WMC associates are operating in silence once it becomes obvious who the Muay Thai public of the UK supports and why they do. It’s honestly not a bad move for them since every time a figurehead for them speaks it results in disaster and a further plunge into their hole of incongruities. Eventually that hole is going to grow into the bigger hole of the inconsequential. And frankly they have never held up very well to public scrutiny.
I warned everyone I could of what the WMC has in store for you if you elect to get in bed with them. It bears repeating though apparently: If you get in bed with the WMC keep in mind they like being on top. When what follows shocks or surprises anyone look at their track record and understand this is not new and not going away by their own efforts. This warning is applicable to anyone in Muay Thai at any level whether it’s as promoter, fighter, fan or gym owner. In the meantime I think I need to start making some new logos for my shorts, tracksuit and t-shirts. I feel some scandal coming on.
*much thanks for both Liams helping me get this story right