There’s no rest for the wicked as the Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy is fighting fires on all fronts now, having just released a statement responding to a racist slur used by one of their instructors at an affiliate in Natomas, California, Manny Ray Gonzales. The news was originally reported by the Sacramento Bee, who included the audio file of a message that Gonzales left for a parent of a former student, where he not only used the slur in question but also threatened the parent as well:
“I’m over here at the gym and I don’t see you. If you really want it, you know where to find it you dumb f****** n*****.”
Dominique Brandon was the man who received the voicemail and he explained that his daughter had trained under Gonzales for many years without issue. Then, she switched schools and would eventually come up against another child from Gonzales’ school in competition, winning the match. A mutual friend Brandon and the Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor’s then posted on social media about the child’s success which sparked Gonzales to begin harassing Brandon via text before he left the racist voicemail message in December. Gonzales then released the following statement on the event when reports started to be circulated on social media:
Due to an unfortunate series of events that escalated between myself and another individual, it has come to my attention that I have to address some problems that have caused issues on and off for a while.
I never imagined that it would take a situation like this to address this, but this is not me.
Rather than address things point by point, I’ll say this: I haven’t been myself recently and it really came out front and center the other day. I stepped way out of my character and made a racial slur that I deeply regret and apologize for.
I apologize but I need to address these issues head on privately with my friends and family for at least the next month. The gym will be in good hands while I’m away and I will return better and stronger than ever.
Please don’t look at this as indicative as who I am as a person. If you know me, you know that simply isn’t me. If you don’t know me, know that I can and will do better.
See you soon.“
Now, the Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy has released an official statement on the racist event, on behalf of the entire organisation and the man at the head of it, who is currently serving a six-month prison sentence as a result of assaulting Flavio Almeida back in 2018:
“On behalf of Ralph Gracie and all related schools and affiliates, the purpose of this communication is to directly address the Manny Ray Gonzalez incident which took place at an associate gym of Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, located in Natomas, CA. The Sacramento Bee recently reported that Manny Ray Gonzalez, an academy instructor acting under his personal capacity, used racist and hateful language to antagonize and intimidate another practitioner and former member of his gym, stemming from personal situations between the gentlemen. Gonzalez used a horrible word specifically meant to demean, debase, and devalue this gentleman’s African-American ancestry.
We are duly outraged by, and affirmatively rebuke Gonzalez’s inexcusable personal conduct for which we have zero-tolerance. More concretely, we are currently taking measures to deal with Gonzalez and his future affiliation with us. Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and all its affiliate schools are committed to providing inclusive training environments and safe-spaces with respect to racial insensitivity and any form of discrimination.
Most of all, our most sincere apologies go to the family of this martial artist. We also want to apologize to all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, members of Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and to the broader Sacramento community. Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is proud to include and welcome African-American, female, and many other diverse instructors and members. We encourage you to visit one of our local training facilities and begin your Covid-compliant jiu-jitsu training program. Please contact us at https://www.ralphgracie.com/.
Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Affiliates”