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Why has Israel Adesanya been dropped as the brand ambassador of BMW?

Israel Adesanya won
Israel Adesanya won't be the BMW brand ambassador in New Zealand
Johny Payne
Modified 28 Mar 2021

Israel Adesanya has been dropped as the brand ambassador of BMW due to the derogatory ‘rape’ comment he recently made.

Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has been involved in an intense feud with 2020’s UFC breakout star Kevin Holland. Both sides engaged in their fair share of trash talk against one another. However, the feud seemingly reached a crescendo after Adesanya’s recent comment.

The comment – the derogatory rape comment which has landed Israel Adesanya in hot water – was something he said to Kevin Holland via Instagram Stories.

Adesanya had stated:

“Bro, I’ll f**king rape you.”

Israel Adesanya has faced severe criticism and has lost his BMW ambassador role in New Zealand

As reported by Stuff, the Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education (RPE) Debbi Tohill addressed Israel Adesanya’s controversial comment and noted:

“People with a large social media following can play a significant role in reducing rates of sexual violence and creating healthy cultures of consent for any sexual activity.”

Furthermore, as reported by RNZ, the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Grant Robertson, stated:

“I’m sure Israel understands that, I believe he has deleted the tweet in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.”

Israel Adesanya subsequently took to social media and has apologized for the comment. Fans can check out the aforementioned socio-political personalities’ detailed statements and Israel Adesanya’s apology HERE.

As reported by Stuff, BMW have put forth a statement regarding the Nigerian-New Zealand superstar’s removal from his role as the company’s brand ambassador in New Zealand. It is believed that the company had future plans for Adesanya in the ambassador role which won’t go ahead now due to his comment. An excerpt from BMW’s statement 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 comment – Condemnation and support

On one hand, Israel Adesanya’s critics believe that the comment was extremely disrespectful and that Adesanya ought to make amends for his mistake.


On the other hand, Adesanya’s supporters suggest that he’s a fighter and that personal insults (even as offensive as the one he made) are just part and parcel of the fight game.

Even UFC middleweight star Darren Till expressed his support for Adesanya on social media. Till put forth the following tweet regarding Adesanya losing his role as BMW’s brand ambassador in New Zealand:

“@stylebender dropped by @BMW Why is the world full of snowflakes? We r in the business of fighting, there is nothing respectful about it. We literally elbow faces into the floor & drop ppl on their heads. Sponsors! Stay out of fight game if u don’t like fighters talking sh*t.”

Here's Till's tweet:

Published 28 Mar 2021, 08:41 IST
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