Israel Adesanya has used a famous Kyrie Irving interview to express how he feels about the comment controversy fallout that he (Adesanya) is currently experiencing.
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya recently threatened fellow middleweight star Kevin Holland by stating: “Bro, I’ll f**king rape you.”
The comment has landed the Nigerian-New Zealand MMA superstar in the eye of a storm. Israel Adesanya has been receiving widespread criticism for it, particularly in his home country of New Zealand.
From the Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education (RPE) Debbi Tohill to the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand Grant Robertson, prominent socio-political figures and many others have condemned Adesanya’s comment.
Additionally, Israel Adesanya has also lost a lucrative sponsorship with BMW, the popular multi-national corporation known for its luxury vehicles and motorcycles.
Israel Adesanya seems to have indirectly addressed this ongoing fallout from his controversial comment. Adesanya took to his Instagram Stories to post a few clips of American basketball player Kyrie Irving’s famous 2019 interview.
The interview came at a time when Irving had memorably expounded upon how and why he doesn’t care about others’ perception of him. Irving had taken shots at ESPN, the media in general, and others who criticized him. The clips posted by Israel Adesanya via Instagram Stories showed Kyrie Irving stating the following:
“That’s another route of human struggle – worrying about other people’s perceptions about who you are. Like, why would you ever care about that, you know? And I think that I fell victim to that in my past of worrying about things that I can’t control. You know, if the people understood what words could do to a human being, especially where we are in today’s society, they wouldn’t be invested in that. So, I don’t, I’m not here to dispel anything. You can continue to ask other people around me about what they think about me, and continue to write about mood swings. Like, you know, human beings have mood swings. Like, you go home and you’re not happy with things or you’re mad at something or you’re happy – that’s a mood swing. It’s okay to be human. Like, I don’t have to be perfect for anyone here, nor do I have to be perfect for the public. So, I’m not here to dispel any perception. I’m just here to be myself.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Israel Adesanya too has often emphasized that he refuses to be fazed by people’s opinions about him, and focuses on being himself.
Israel Adesanya lost his BMW sponsorship in New Zealand
As reported by Stuff, Israel Adesanya has been removed from his role as a brand ambassador for BMW in New Zealand. A statement put forth by BMW regarding the same read as follows:
“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’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss against UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 (March 6th, 2021). Adesanya came up short in his bid to become a UFC double champion. Nevertheless, he’s subsequently confirmed that he’ll be returning to the middleweight division to defend his UFC middleweight title.