Homies all over the world have united in an attempt to lift the five-year MMA ban of Nick Diaz.
The suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission has met unyielding backlash from the general public. We have seen fighters, celebrities and fans come out in waves to support Diaz. Entertainment icon Cher even sent out a tweet in support of the former UFC title contender a week ago.
Lift the NSAC ban from MMA fighter Nick Diaz. http://t.co/E5h1HYkKVu
— Cher (@cher) October 5, 2015
Cher wasn’t able to turn back time 26 years ago, and she certainly won’t be able to turn back the NSAC’s ruling alone.
UFC fighters Henry Cejudo, Leslie Smith and Aljamain Sterling have all gone on record that they will no longer compete in the state of Nevada until Diaz’s suspension is lifted. Not to mention, an official White House petition has been set up in hopes of overturning the suspension.
Imagine Diaz strolling through Capitol Hill in a pair blue jeans and a black V-neck. Walking alongside him would be a couple attorneys in black suits carrying briefcases. That thought alone is enough to make you close the book on this petition. At first glance, it appears like an open and shut case.
With everything already going on in the world, there is no way in hell President Barack Obama and his administration would even look at a habitual marijuana user being suspended from fighting — right?
Wrong. As crazy as it sounds, Diaz’s petition has become a big deal. It has already acquired over 77,000 electronic signatures, which puts it a little under 23,000 signatures away from hitting the targeted 100,000 mark. The goal is to reach the mark by Oct. 16.
Diaz’s petition is currently the fourth most popular White House petition. Ahead of Diaz are petitions for resettling Syrian refugees, proper regulation for extending the STEM OPT and rescinding a Medicare proposal dealing with prosthetic limbs and amputees. The Diaz situation is officially an important issue.
The petition reads:
“Nick Diaz was unfairly banned from being a professional fighter by the Nevada Athletics Commission. They ruled based on their personal feelings and beliefs towards the use of medical Marijuana and used their power to deprive Mr. Diaz of being able to make a living.”
Diaz had been on thin ice with the commission for years. However, the breaking point came in February after it was announced Diaz had failed a post-fight drug test for his fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 183. While Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites, Silva failed pre and post-fight drug tests for steroids and anti-depressants.
Silva was only given a one-year suspension.
Two commissioners on the NSAC board wanted to punish Diaz with a lifetime MMA ban due to a preponderance of other incidents. Along with failing multiple drug tests, the controversial UFC star was involved in a televised brawl in Strikeforce back in 2010. He also no-showed for a drug test a year earlier in California.
While Diaz has been a habitual headache for the NSAC, not all of the commissioners were on-board with the idea of a lifetime ban. So they all came together and agreed on a five-year suspension instead.
After being handed a five-year ban, Diaz lambasted the sport’s penal system and referred to the NSAC process as “dork court.”
(Warning: NSFW Language)
UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor called Diaz’s suspension “absolutely ridiculous” during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. At a UFC 193 press conference in Melbourne, Ronda Rousey and UFC President Dana White also questioned the NSAC ruling.
“It’s so unfair if one person tests for steroids that could actually really hurt a person and the other person smokes a plant that makes them happy and he gets suspended for five years, whereas the guy that could hurt someone so much — he could have died in there — gets a slap on the wrist,” said Rousey.
A slew of other fighters echoed McGregor and Rousey’s comments on Twitter. (Warning: NSFW Language)
You are not making Nick Diaz an example, you are appearing as tyrants. Don't abuse your authority. #FreeNickDiaz AND apologize. Ridiculous.
— Gina Carano (@ginacarano) September 15, 2015
Diaz 5yrs for weed is just ridiculous!
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) September 14, 2015
— Keith Jardine (@KeithJardine205) September 15, 2015
— 'Rowdy' Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) September 14, 2015
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) September 14, 2015
— Chad Laprise (@ChadLaprise) September 14, 2015
Fuck the dumbshit!! I seen what happened. #FreeNickDiaz its a movement
— King Mo (@KingMoFH) September 14, 2015
So sad! @nickdiaz209 is one of my favorite athletes to watch compete.
— Shannon Knapp (@shanknapp) September 14, 2015
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) September 14, 2015
— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) September 14, 2015
If fighters want to take a stand , refuse to fight in Nevada. There will be nobody to take money from. #FreeNickDiaz
— Cole Miller (@colemillerATT) September 14, 2015
Has anyone testing positive for steroids been suspended even remotely close to 5 years?
— Scott jorgensen (@Scottjorgensen) September 14, 2015
Nick Diaz suspended five years for marijuana that's ridiculous. So that means steroid users get the death penalty correct!
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) September 14, 2015
Though possible, it is unlikely that the Obama administration will actually move on this fighter and athletic commission quarrel. White House action in these form of petitions aren’t common.
A battle in court is likely the next stop for Diaz, and while it won’t be a big factor in a future judge’s ruling, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the backing of 100,000-plus supporters.