Was Jessica Eye wrong for lying to Ariel Helwani?
Jessica “Evil” Eye has had quite the hectic past few months. On October 19th she defeated Sarah Kaufman at UFC 166 via split decision. Nearly four months later here we are. Reports emerged that Eye had tested positive for a banned substance, and her win over Sarah Kaufman was changed to a no-decision. However the Texas State Athletic Commission (TSAC) did not disclose what she tested positive for. BleacherReport came out and reported that Eye had tested positive for a “blood-thinning medication used to treat a long-term issue stemming from an accident when [Eye] was hit by a drunk driver at 16 years old,”
As a result of her positive testing Eye was issued a year long “Probated Suspension” and was not removed from her bout against Alexis Davis at UFC 170.
On Monday Ariel Helwani, host of The MMA Hour, had Eye on to clear the air on some of the recent controversies going on. Eye would not give a clear answer as to whether or not she had used a banned substance. When Helwani directly asked her whether she was officially denying the reports Eye responded:
“Yes, I’m not doing PED’s, I’m not doing anything that I shouldn’t be doing. Yet again, I will continue to say that I took all tests, again, to get my license and will continuously passed. And yet again, I’m not gonna say anything that’s going to be used against me or for people to continuously make allegations against me that I have or have not done. It’s just not gonna work that way. I mean, and you know what, hey, I guess it’s gonna keep people continuousing watching me. They never know what next is going to happen. It’s kinda fun for them. I guess then they’re gonna have to… They can sit on the edge of their seats to see what I test for this next time for February 22. Hey, maybe it’ll keep people paying attention to me, it’ll keep people hating me, and it’ll continuously give me just more fuel to do what I’m supposed to do.
Just hours after the interview was posted reports emerged, and were confirmed by the TSAC, that Eye had tested positive for marijuana.
This set the MMA Media world ablaze with countless articles blasting Eye for being a “liar”, and saying that if she had come clean from the start she wouldn’t be blasted due to the increasing number of fighters that have tested positive for marijuana recently.
But let’s take a step back for a minute here. Was Jessica Eye contractually obligated to tell us, the fans as well as media members that she had smoked marijuana prior to her fight with Sarah Kaufman? Of course not.
Contrary to public and media opinion, what professional athletes do in their personal and private lives does not have to be disclosed to us. Liz Carmouche came out and became the first gay female MMA fighter. Just last year Boston Celtic Jason Collins came forward and became the first openly gay basketball player. Several days ago Missouri football player Michael Sam came out as being gay and told the world about his hopes for becoming the first openly gay NFL player. None of the above mentioned athletes had to tell the media about their personal lives, Jessica Eye doesn’t either.
Lastly I would like to leave you with one piece of information to ponder over. In 2012 Jake Shields defeated Ed Herman by decision, shortly after it came out that Shields had failed his post fight drug test. Shields never admitted to which banned substance he used. The difference is the Colorado State Athletic Commission didn’t throw Shields under the bus to the media.