Former UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva opened up in a recent interview. In the interview, The Spider talked about growing up with his aunt and uncle in Curitiba, doing ballet as a child, his views on racism, and more in this incredible interview.
“I have been a dancer. Not anymore,”
“Man, what a phase. At first I didn’t like it, no. It was punishment. No friend of mine did it. Me doing ballet? Hello? It wasn’t very cool. My friends would all go like, ‘ah, little girl, little lady.’ And add that to my high-pitched voice—I was bullied a lot.
“But I started to like ballet. And my aunt also put me in tap-dancing lessons. I’m thankful to her because it helped me a lot in fighting. Evander Holyfield practiced ballet. It’s got nothing to do with that, you know. If you want do ballet, you do ballet. You want to fence, you fence. You want to be gay, be gay, it’s all right. You respect people’s spaces, they respect yours, it’s all right.”
Silva also discussed his views on racism, and why it has no placement in today’s society.
“Racism is bad anywhere on the planet. It exists the United States as well, even more than in Brazil. I never had a problem with racism in Los Angeles. I think things are changing, people are learning that everyone is equal before God, independent of their color, their race. I tend to say that conflict is inevitable in man, that color is just an excuse to unleash that madness, that lack of respect people have for one another. I’m very well set on this racism thing. We’re living in a moment in which racism does not fit in the world.
“My aunt and my uncle taught me to go into and come out of places with my head held high. At every academy I frequented, I was always well received for having the discipline and education that I acquired at home. When I started training tae kwon do, there were a lot of Koreans and whites in the academy, I was maybe the only black person. I cleaned the academy and trained for free. I never suffered any prejudice within the academy. I was always well-received, I was always respected. I have great friends that I made in the academies, to this day. In the sport environment, you have to learn to deal with different opinions, different races, and different classes. Everyone is the same.”
Silva went on to discuss people who think he’s homosexual, and what his take is on that.
“I don’t think there’s prejudice, but there’s a lot of homosexuals in mixed martial arts. There are a lot of them who haven’t yet come out.
“[If they were to come out,] nowadays it’s so silly to not express your feelings. As long as you respect people’s spaces, and respect their limits. You have to live your life in peace and no one has anything to do with that.
“I would train with a gay man. As long as he respected me, it’s all right. I don’t think much of it. The fact that guy is gay doesn’t mean he’s going to accost you. He can be gay, have a relationship, live among guys who aren’t gay. he can do whatever he wants with his private life.
“Sometimes people think I’m gay. A lot of people have asked me if I’m gay. I answer, ‘Look, not to my knowledge. But I’m still young, it could be that in the future I’ll find out that I’m gay.’ I take good care of my things, I put everything in a bag, I use soap, I put on a cream after training. People think it’s capricious. To each his own. Doesn’t mean you’re more man or less man, more gay or less gay.”