Disclaimer: This article is written as an opinion piece and the views are representative solely of the author.
The MMA sphere was rocked recently with the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard. The connection to the MMA world being that she is the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight contender, Walt Harris.
Aniah was reported missing on the 24th of October and, as with many of these stories it ended with the tragic discovery of her remains on the 27th of November.
I read Walt’s heart felt message to Aniah, and it brought a twisted knot to the belly and tears to my eyes. The amount of pain that Aniah’s family is feeling has to be immeasurable. Such a senseless tragedy.
So, if any member of Aniah’s family happens to read this, I have been thinking about you guys each day and can only send my positive thoughts so that you can find some form of piece, in a situation where finding anything but pain is difficult.
As the story began to unfold there was a few things that really pissed me off. Besides the anger towards the people responsible for what happened, there are other axes to grind.
Not all of the MMA media, but it was clear that Aniah wasn’t important, they just wanted “UFC” in their headline. Many headlines read “UFC heavyweight, Walt Harris’ daughter still missing” or “Man arrested over kidnapping of UFC heavyweight walt Harris’ daughter.”
She has a fucking name, use it. Aniah wasn’t just a UFC fighter’s daughter, she was a person with more to her identity than her father. It was so bad that people on Twitter started pointing it out on a regular basis and even now if you are to google “Walt Harris daughter” you get one of the major media outlets leaving Aniah’s name out of the headline.
MMA media is a joke, let’s be honest. The majority of the people who call themselves journalists are merely fluff writers who do human interest pieces on the athletes. There’s nothing wrong with human interest pieces and the fluff is sometimes fun to read, but it gets tiresome when the same people get bent out of shape when their claim to being a journalist. The real journalists in this business are over looked for glorified interviewers.
The reality is there’re very few true journalists in the MMA sphere. Don’t get it twisted, I’m aware that if i were to try and wear the hat of journalist it would be laughable. I’m a blogger with a big mouth and opinions. If a person spends their time coming hat in hand to fighters and trying to be their buddy, sorry, you’re not a journalist.
The handling of this story by some is just another example of lazy, uninspired coverage. Throw the three magic letters on the title to get clicks. Its pathetic and it’s why listening to these people drone on is laughable.
Next axe to run across the stone is that of the witnesses who watched Aniah get forced into a car, but decided not to call the police. How the fuck do you not call the police? What’s the worst thing that can happen if you’re wrong? The people in the car will think you’re a nosey prick?
Sadly, this is the society that is becoming all too common. Instead of helping those who struggle, we elect to whip out a phone to video it. No more do people run to help at the scene of a crash, instead elect to document the destruction in some weird fetish we seem to have in the misery of others.
Twitter is full of white knights and those who look to do good, but wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. It’s becoming an epidemic which in Aniah’s case it, may, have cost her life. No one in their right mind would expect a person to try and be a hero by trying to apprehend the criminal themselves, thats dangerous and stupid, but why not give the police a heads up when a young woman is forced into a car. I struggle with this because is just so god damn stupid to not make the simple phone call.
*exhale. That’s my rant for today, maybe one day I’ll get on a video and articulate these views a little better, but for now i will leave it at this.*
Aniah, i’m sorry this happened to you and your family. I hope the people who ignored you in your time of need can come to some sort of inner peace and they’re not haunted by that night. I hope you are able to give your family little signs that you’re watching over them and, in those signs, help their hearts heal. Fly with the angels, sweetie.