West Virginia MMA Coach Offers Security Services for Local Drag Show

MMA fighter Jonathan Haught made the offer via Facebook last week, after a local venue announced it had canceled a drag brunch because of threats.

MMA fighter Jonathan Haught made headlines this month after he volunteered his security services for a local drag show. 

The West Virginia resident made the offer via Facebook last week, when Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar announced it had canceled a drag brunch because of violent threats.

“We were so incredibly excited to bring you a fabulous brunch to Wheeling WV,” the business wrote. “Unfortunately due to the amount of threats towards Primantis, the entertainers, & sometimes even patrons, we’ve decided for the saftey of everyone involved to cancel the event.” in Triadelphia

Haught, who owns and operates the Ohio Valley MMA studio, said he and his fighters were prepared to work security if and when the event was rescheduled.

“I’m not afraid to stand up to people, and I train to fight people all day, every day, so if somebody really wants to attack somebody, let them attack me instead,” Haught said, as reported by NBC News “Don’t attack the drag queens.”

The MMA fighter told local outlets he had security experience and has bounced multiple bars over the past decade. Haught said he’s confident that he and his fighters had the skills to de-escalate tense situations and ensure everything remains peaceful.

“If you have control of a situation, it shouldn’t escalate,” he told WTRF. “That comes with the understanding that you will put yourself in harm’s way sometimes. As long as you speak with respect to an individual, and refused to be treated any other way, usually even the most unruly person will fall in line.”

Drag queens have become a right-wing target over the past year, as many conservatives have criticized all-age drag shows as dangerous to children. Misrepresentations of these events have resulted in a wave of threats, physical violence, and controversial legislative proposals. The Washington Post reports at least 26 bills aimed at restricting drag shows were introduced during the 2023 legislative session. 

“The drag show is no more offensive than a Broadway show, or a stand up comedy show,” Haught continued. In essence, it’s a mix of both. At the end of the day, it is entertainment. Not part of some hidden agenda, like some would have you believe.”

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