Retired transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox called out Joe Rogan during an appearance promoting her upcoming biopic, saying he “shouldn’t speak” about trans issues. Fox has been an outspoken critic of Rogan for several years. The longtime UFC commentator, stand-up comedian and host of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Spotify generated controversy in 2013, when he said Fox is “not really a she.”
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada on May 27, 2021, Fox said about Rogan, “No, he shouldn’t speak, especially on this issue that’s so important to transgender people and transgender people’s lives. Just like coronavirus is important to people’s lives. He just brings up these things and just makes them up.”
Fox, a 45-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, retired from MMA fighting in 2014 after two years in the sport. She finished her career with a record of 5-1. She was the first openly trans MMA fighter. According to Deadline, Mark Gordon Pictures announced in April that the film studio would be developing a biopic based on Fox’s life.
“I’ve had a great time so far working with the producers and writers bringing this story to life, and I hope this film sheds some light on the topic of trans athletes in sports. This story needs to be told now more than ever,” Fox told Deadline in April.
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Fox Said People Should Listen to Rogan & ‘Take What He Says With a Grain of Salt’
Fox told ET Canada that when she came out as trans in an interview with Outsports writer Cyd Zeigler in 2013, “A lot of prominent people were talking about a bunch of horrible things. The Joe Rogans, the Ronda Rouseys, the Dana Whites of the world. From what they said about me in the past, I could have just crawled up into a ball and given up. I could have just stopped competing, but I didn’t. I kept competing and I kept talking about this issue and I’m going to continue to do it.”
Fox added, “I think people should pay attention to what he said, that he’s not an expert. You know, he’s not an expert, so people should take what he says with a grain of salt.”
According to Bleacher Report, Rogan said in 2013, “First of all, she’s not really a she. She’s a transgender, post-op person. The operation doesn’t shave down your bone density. It doesn’t change. You look at a man’s hands and you look at a woman’s hands and they’re built different. They’re just thicker, they’re stronger, your wrists are thicker, your elbows are thicker, your joints are thicker. Just the mechanical function of punching, a man can do it much harder than a woman can, period.”
Rogan has also talked about issues surrounding trans athletes in 2021. During a podcast episode with Jim Breuer, Rogan said:
It’s bananas, but yet they’re saying, Scientific America just had a story about it, ‘We must allow transgender athletes to compete in the sex that they identify with.’ Well no, we don’t. That’s crazy. We must protect biological women. There’s a reason biological males are not allowed to compete with biological women. It’s because they have certain physical advantages. That’s why we have boys sports and girls sports. Now, just because someone that identifies as being trans, should we treat them like they’re a woman or like they’re a boy? Yes we should, but we should recognize that when we’re talking about athletic competition we’re talking about a completely different thing.
We’re dealing with physical bodies competing against physical bodies. And yes, there’s a spectrum in physical bodies, and there’s some women that are going to be superior athletically and there are some women that they just don’t have good bodies for sports. The same thing with males. The difference in the spectrum is, if you took a world class sprinter as a woman, top of the food chain, Olympic gold medalist, there are high school athletes that will bury her as males. Male high school athletes that you can take the best sprinter in the world and you’ll find 100 male high school, 15-year-olds, who will leave her in the dust, because they’re built different
After that JRE podcast episode, Fox posted on Facebook, “Joe Rogan is being transphobic yet again. He has had more transphobic episodes than you can shake a stick at. Spotify needs to cancel his show already.” Rogan and Spotify did not respond to Fox’s criticism.
Fox told ET Canada, “This is a challenging situation for me, my current relationship with MMA. I still have a lot of passion for the sport. I like watching it. I want to get back into training and everything like that. But a lot of prominent people haven’t recognized what I’ve done, like Joe Rogan and Ronda Rousey and all that. So I don’t think the world of MMA is ready to have an intelligent conversation about transgender athletes, but I’m willing to have that conversation and I’m always willing to stand up.”
Rogan Recently Said He Understands Why He Is Often the Target of Attacks & Said It ‘Doesn’t Bother Him’
Also in March 2021, Rogan told former CIA officer Mike Baker, “I 100% support gay rights, I 100% support women’s rights, civil rights, trans rights, across the board. But not at the expense of other people.” He also talked about how when he joined Spotify, some employees of the company threatened to walkout, accusing him of being anti-trans.
“They thought I was transphobic or thought I was a bad person,” Rogan told comedian Fahim Anwar during a February 2021 podcast episode. “I don’t know what the actual conversation has been from Spotify talking to these employees, but if these employees are listening, I would tell you emphatically I am not in any way anti-trans. Not in any way. I am 100% for people to be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm other people. If you choose to do anything, whatever you want, whatever your personal choice is, I am happy if you’re happy.”
Rogan is no stranger to recent controversy. Along with being accused of being transphobic by Fox, he has also been accused of spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and faced backlash over his comments about what he considers to be “woke culture.”
Rogan told Whitney Cummings about the outrage, “It doesn’t bother me. It’s OK. It really is OK. I get it. And I don’t know why I get it, but I get it. I understand where I’m at. … It also makes you recognize what is making people upset. Like why they are upset about you do. Maybe you’re expressing yourself in an inefficient way. Maybe you’re doing it wrong. But I get just positionally, I really do. … I get the criticism of me. It doesn’t bother me.”