In a statement issued on March 26, 2021, BMW revealed that the company had reviewed its pending decision to appoint Israel Adesanya as the brand ambassador in light of his derogatory comments and decided to cancel the deal.
'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,' the statement issued by BMW said. (Via Stuff)
BMW's decision comes after Israel Adesanya's video of him metaphorically threatening to 'rape' fellow UFC middleweight Kevin Holland received heavy criticism - most notably by New Zealand's deputy prime minister Grant Robertson. Adesanya posted a video on his Instagram story on March 23 that was no longer available after 24 hours. The Stylebender later apologized for the comments. However, the remarks were not taken lightly by the automobile giant.
Israel Adesanya is a repeat offender
Israel Adesanya celebrated his knockout win over Paulo Costa by simulating a sexual position over his downed opponent in the UFC octagon. Adesanya received a lot of criticism for the disgraceful act and was condemned by the MMA community for setting a wrong precedent.
While speaking to MMA Fighting about the incident, Israel Adesanya said that he was unapologetic about carrying out the act in that setting and even alleged that the criticism was a result of people's aversion to homosexuality!
"I couldn’t give a f**k what they think to be honest. I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t even plan it. It was just justified. Like you know when you’re on ‘Call of Duty’ and you smoke someone with a head shot and then you go over them and then press circle, down, up, down, up, kind of tea bag them. That’s kind of what I did. What it is, is homophobia. People are just mad ‘why are you doing that, you’re not a man’ cause they feel inadequate. Questioning their own sexuality,” Israel Adesanya said.
UFC fighters are public figures that influence millions of people around the world - more so in the social media age. Although everybody has a right to an opinion, normalizing criminal/immoral activities in the form of humor or casual comments should be strictly avoided by famous personalities.