UFC star, Israel Adesanya is under fire over the ‘rape’ comment he made towards his fellow fighter.
“Bro, I will fuckin’ rape you,” the Nigerian-born New Zealand MMA fighter posted in a video to his Instagram story directed at fellow UFC middleweight Kevin Holland, who had targeted him with a series of insulting remarks last week. Adesanya later deleted the post.
New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson, who is also the sports minister, has now blasted the middleweight champ and called on the UFC to take action.
He said: “There is never a time to make flippant comments about rape. It’s just not something anybody should do.
“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.
“But I would certainly be making clear to him, and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously.
“It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.”
Rape Prevention Education executive director Debbi Tohill also told NZ outlet Stuff: “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.
“Conversely, this kind of comments where rape is used as a threat create a culture where it is acceptable to make sexualised comments with the potential to cause further harm.
“Sportspeople and celebrities can really influence young people, we would like to see this happen in a positive way, not misused and normalising threats of sexual violence.”
Adesanya did not respond to the comments directly but tweeted a gif alongside the words: “Incoming clickbait NZ media in 3, 2, 1… This is what it’s all about…CLOUT!!”
This is what it’s all about…CLOUT!! pic.twitter.com/GhWhPD6rPN
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) March 24, 2021