Poor Junie Browning. The loveable The Ultimate Fighter scamp, the one tacitly encouraged by UFC management and SPIKE TV to drink his fill and act out violently for the sake of television ratings and water cooler talk, has finally gone too far.
Browning according to Henderson, Nevada police took sixteen klonopin pills in an attempt to harm himself. Having second thoughts, perhaps, Browning tried to walk away from the situation, but it was too late for that. Medical personnel had a duty to treat him, even as he allegedly assaulted them verbally and physically. Police say Browning pushed a female nurse, punched and kicked two male nurses, and screamed obscenities at the hospital staff.
“Do you know who I am? I will kill you and rape your family,” Henderson police say Browning shouted.
Browning faces three counts of battery on a health care provider. He was booked at the Henderson Detention Center, where he was released. It was, in all likelihood, a desperate call for help. Browning, as portrayed on reality television, was a nobody from Nowhere, Kentucky, desperate to make something of himself. Chronically afraid to fail, Browning saw acting out as the best way to get attention. He had no confidence that he could earn a place in the UFC with with fighting prowess. He did it with a combination of drinking and violence, a pairing that all too often leads to disaster.
In the aftermath, at a time where he needs support more than he ever has before, Browning was shown the door by his employer, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Everyone expected it. Most thought Dana White would offer to send Browning to rehab, to help him get past these problems he helped exacerbate, if not create. No such luck for young Junie.
“He’s an adult,” White told Yahoo.com. “He’ll figure it out.”
Aside from White’s moral obligations, which seem clear, this is potentially a disastrous public relations move by the UFC. As Browning’s life spins out of control, he will continue to be associated with the UFC. He is a UFC fighter. Even if the company technically owes him nothing, the smart move is to help him get his life together. When the next bit of tomfoolery surfaces, White should at least be able to honestly say that the UFC did all they could to help him get his life back together. After all, they gleefully helped him down this path.
Even if he never fights another round, it is the right thing to do. And the smart thing.