The Atlantic

Did Meryl Streep Misrepresent MMA?

The actress “couldn’t have chosen a worse sport to represent American provincialism,” says the author of a book on mixed martial arts.
Source: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

On the way to denouncing Donald Trump during her Golden Globes speech Sunday, Meryl Streep ended up miffing some sports fans. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” she said, “and if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts—which are not the arts.”

Just as Trump would soon shoot back at Streep, the mixed martial arts community soon took issue with her comment. Scott Coker, president of Bellator MMA, wrote her an open letter inviting her to attend a fight so she could see that “mixed martial arts celebrates male and female athletes from all over the world who work tirelessly honing their craft and—yes—art.”

The complaints from fans were not simply that she’d seemed to condescend to

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