If you plan to mount a dummy on TV, it’s wise to not bring yourself down to the level of the dummy. But a wrestler did exactly that when he tried to defend Trayvon Martin by demonstrating a MMA (mixed martial arts) mount on HLN After Dark.
On July 10, HLN After Dark Host Vinnie Politan invited a black guest named David Otunga, a WWE Smackdown wrestler, to discuss the George Zimmerman trial. Otunga made a fool out of himself trying to disprove Zimmerman’s claim that he shot 17-year-old Martin out of self-defense.
Politan told viewers that he and Otunga wanted to demonstrate their “interpretation” of the way 28-year-old Hispanic Zimmerman claimed 17-year-old black Martin mounted him and began punching him and smashing his head onto the concrete in Zimmerman’s neighborhood on the evening of February 26, 2012.
First, Politan had Otunga demonstrate a position where Martin would have been mounted high—near Zimmerman’s armpits. This position would not have made sense at the time of the shooting because neither Zimmerman nor Martin could have reached for the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s hipfrom that position.
Next, Ontunga demonstrated a position more likely during the time of the shooting, given that Zimmerman told law enforcement he tried to squirm out from under Martin to move his head off the concrete and onto the nearby grass. Sounding like a fool, Otunga tried to show that Martin was in a position of weakness even though he was clearly on top of Zimmerman in a “ground and pound” position of strength:
POLITAN: “Alright, David, the first [mounted] position. This is belly-button-to-belly-button, right?”
OTUNGA: Otunga straddled a dummy MMA style and then conceded that from this mount, both Martin and Zimmerman could have reached for the gun. This backed up Zimmerman’s claim that it was only afterMartin caught sight of Zimmerman’s weapon and yelled: “You’re going to die tonight!” (indicating that he planned to use Zimmerman’s gun against him) that Zimmerman reached down for his gun and shot Martin in self-defense.
POLITAN: “OK, and from that position, can you punch?”
OTUNGA: Stiffly threw his arms straight out in the air and punched without moving his torso forward naturally. “Not really good. I’m barely—this is my full extension—barely touching his chin there.”
OTUNGA: “[I] wouldn’t have any strength trying to punch him there. I’d want to be higher up.”
POLITAN: “OK. But in this position, the gun is exposed?”
OTUNGA: “The gun is exposed.”