I read the same article, If read 'fully' the person was getting over the point that 'in general' the public perception 'can' associate the 'martial arts' (generic) with aggression and thugs. Maybe by the way it is sometimes portrayed in film/media etc.
I also think the person was actually trying to generate some publicity for a martial arts event to raise money/ awareness for a major charity. And the martial artists involved were anything but thugs - in fact the very opposite - this was one of the objects of the exercise.
As for educating/not educating people - without knowledge - no change - no progress - no understanding. I thought one of the main concepts of aikido/martial arts was positive change through knowledge. To improve the individual!
My apologies if it was not the same article - but somehow I think it was!