Fightin' Words

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Jon Jones explains those offensive Instagram comments

Jon Jones yells on stage after the weigh

Jon Jones yells on stage after the weigh in for his bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Toronto. (Sept. 20, 2013) (Credit: AP)

When anti-gay comments were posted to his Instagram account last week, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones became that day’s most vilified person in social media.

Jones said the post didn’t come from him, but compounding the negativity was the confusion between conflicting tweets from Jones and his manager Malki Kawa. Jones said his phone was hacked, Kawa said his phone was lost or stolen.

“At the time, the whole situation looked sticky because Malki was saying I lost my phone, which I did, but it had nothing to do with this whole situation,” Jones said Monday during an interview with a handful of reporters in Manhattan. “It’s one of those things that the people who have decided to hate me will never believe me about it.”

Such is the world we live in now, one where everyone has a platform to share their opinions and comments as things are unfolding second by second.

Jones said he was at the store that day getting a new phone, and Kawa couldn’t reach him. Kawa said that when he finally did get through to Jones, he asked Jones if he wrote the offensive comments. Jones had no idea what Kawa was even talking about, he said. Kawa then sent Jones screengrabs of what had been posted to his Instagram account.

Jones said the comments came from someone who worked for the company he works with to enhance his presence in  social media. It is the same company, Jones said, that helped get more than 1 million likes to his Facebook page.

“One of the guys that’s working for us took it into his own hands to reply to the fans some negative stuff,” Jones said. “I don’t know if the dude thought he was logged in under his name or if he knew he was logged in under my name. By the time I found out all that stuff had happened, it had been on the Internet for hours.”

Jones said that person no longer works on his social media team and that he has changed all his passwords.

The comments posted from his Instagram account were in response to a Swedish teenager using the twitter account @DanielJavid who questioned Jones’ comment that he has three times the heart of Alexander Gustafsson, whom Jones beat by decision at UFC 165. It was somewhat of an innocuous tweet, compared to what Jones has already been the target of in social media.

"What the guy actually said to me wasn't even worth coming back at him," Jones said. "I've been called a [expletive] before on social media. I had one guy say my kids deserve to be molested on social media. I've had guys insult me for having a white fiancee and threatened my family's life. So I've dealt with some real social media [expletive]. I've had real-life stuff happen to me, so for somebody to say I lost to Gustafsson isn't even worth getting my attention."

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