Thursday, January 27, 2022

Israel Adesanya Loses BMW Sponsorship Over “Rape” Remark

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is experiencing more backlash for his controversial comments, now in the form of a sponsorship loss.

Israel Adesanya recently came under fire for telling Kevin Holland, “I will fuckin’ rape you, bro” in a since-deleted Instagram post. New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson rebuked Adesanya’s remarks, stating:

“There is never a time to make flippant comments about rape. It’s just not something anybody should do,” Robertson said on Radio New Zealand. “I am sure Israel understands that. I believe he has deleted (the post) in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do. But I would certainly be making clear to him, and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously. It is not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.”

Israel Adesanya would then issue an apology for his comments, but at least for one of his sponsors, it was too little, too late. According to New Zealand news outlet Stuff, BMW has decided to part ways with Adesanya days before he was reportedly set to be unveiled as the new face of BMW New Zealand. BMW’s statement on the matter reads:

“Due to the comments made by an athlete online, we have reviewed our pending association with said athlete and we have decided not to push forward with a specific ambassador for the brand at this time in New Zealand.”

Israel Adesanya still remains signed with PUMA and is the first MMA athlete to secure a deal with the company. As of this writing, PUMA has not issued any public statement or announcement regarding this matter.

Israel Adesanya is currently one of the biggest stars in the UFC. His last headlined PPV, UFC 259, had a reported buy rate of 800,000 worldwide. He also has 4.6 million followers on Instagram. Adesanya is currently 31 years old so could possibly remain a prominent figure in the UFC for many years to come. This experience could certainly serve as a learning experience for the outspoken figure moving forward.

Do you believe Israel Adesanya should lose sponsorships over his rape comment?

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