After contacting EliteXC live events president Gary Shaw earlier in the day, FiveOuncesOfPain.com was able to reach ProElite CEO Doug DeLuca to get his public response to the recent controversy surrounding King of the Cage fighter Melvin Costa.
Photographs have surfaced online within the last 24 hours that depict a fighter believed to be Costa with a swastika tattooed to his chest.
DeLuca was quick to state that ProElite does not support neo-nazi ideology.
“ProElite as a company at the highest level condemns racism, antisemitism, Nazism, or any group that advocates hate,” said DeLuca. “The company condemns racism in any fashion.”
DeLuca also explained why pictures of Costa that showed him with the swastika tattoo on his chest were removed from ProElite.com.
“The pictures were taken off ProElite.com because we have a strict policy on the website that we do not put up any racist or antisemitic rhetoric of any kind.”
Also addressed was why Costa was even allowed to compete for King of the Cage in the first place after the promotion had been acquired by ProElite. DeLuca believes that Costa’s choice in body art slipped the cracks.
“From a standpoint of a public company, when we make acquisitions of organizations, we undertake a deep due-diligence process,” DeLuca said. “One of the things we don’t do, because it’s not common practice, is inspect tattoos on the body parts of independent contractors that work for organizations as fighters.
“We were as surprised as anybody else when this came out. We found out the same way as most everyone else did and it was shocking to us.”
DeLuca was asked whether Costa would be allowed to compete for ProElite-owned promotion again. He declined to go into great detail, citing the fact that the company was in the process of seeking legal counsel in regard to the matter.
“It terms of further action, we are consulting with various people and legal representatives right now to figure out what we’re going to do,” he said. “It all happened so quickly that we’re still formulating things.
“I don’t know Melvin Costa as a person. He’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do. Our affiliation with him is as an athlete and we are an athletic organization. We want this to be about athletics. We’re definitely not in the business of putting anything out to the public that’s offensive and we condemn racism in any form. We’re talking internally and we’ll see what the options are.”