One of the most recognizable and influential brands in mixed martial arts history, TapOut, was dealt a decisive blow last week when Ron Mitchell, a local Minnesota man and MBA, was told by his employer to go home and change out of his shiny TapOut shirt as it was deemed inappropriate for Casual Friday.
Despite a lengthy and profanity-filled conversation with the company HR manager in which Mitchell, an avid MMA fan and middle manager, pointed out that other employees wore sports jerseys out of season and ironic logo t-shirts that were not actually ironic, the decision by the company Board of Directors was final. Mitchell finally left the building after admitting that he had never actually made anyone “tap out”.
The disgruntled Mitchell immediately took to Facebook and posted an internet poll, evidently to get support from his friends about how ridiculous the decision was.
The results were startling.
The employee asked: “Is it inappropriate to wear a TapOut shirt to work?” To which he provide a yes/no option.
Despite only having 26 Facebook friends, the poll went viral and received an amazing 16 million responses. Of those 16 million votes, one million responders stated Yes, the shirt is inappropriate and 15 million responded with an added option “TapOut shirts are never appropriate, douche”.
There wasn’t a single vote stating that TapOut was okay to wear in the office or anywhere else on Earth. A few scattered votes were given for “yes, but only if you fall into a wormhole and are transported back to 2008.”
The once giant clothing brand has been in a steep decline since the passing of founder Charles “Mask” Lewis. A man who was not only a face of the company, but clearly a devotee of mixed martial arts and giving fighters a chance when no one else would. His passion for the sport and fighters transcended profits and product placements.
Since then, TapOut MPS shirts have appeared in JCPenny stores, a metaphoric “scarlet-A” for any brand as they became far more accessible to people unable to use computers or without permanent addresses.
In the week following the poll, every single Fortune 500 company has banned the appearance of TapOut shirts from their properties, even on Fridays and even from guys who “totally train, bra.”
Most employees are now also subject to impromptu checks to make sure TapOut is not being used as an undershirt. The main fear being the increasing number of men who dream of getting in a confrontation only to tear off their button-up shirts, flex, and start bouncing around yelling “What? What?!”
Surprisingly enough, there had been absolutely no outcry from the MMA community who unanimously agrees that they were pretty tired of getting dragged into the conversation every time some guy who tans too much and shaves his forearms gets thrown out of a club.
When reached for comment, TapOut brand owner Jarod Punkass released a statement to the press.
“Sounds about right.” Said Punkass. “Even I don’t wear the TapOut crap.”
When reached for comment, Mitchell admitted that he had considered legal actions before accidentally seeing his own reflection in a store window and admitting, “Yeah, I looked pretty douchey.”