Nigerian-born UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has been removed as BMW brand ambassador.
Adesanya, was supposed to be unveiled on Monday, March 29, 2021, as a brand ambassador to German vehicle manufacturer, BMW but was dropped following his rape comment targeted at middleweight contender, Kevin Holland earlier this week.
Reacting to recent insulting comments made by UFC Vegas 22 headliner, Holland on a deleted Instagram story, Adesanya said:
“Bro, I will f*cking rape you“.
In a statement released to Herald, BMW said:
“Due to the comments made by an athlete (Israel Adesanya) 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.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for sport in New Zealand, Grant Robertson replied to the recent comment made by Adesanya, explaining how flippant comments about rape should never be made.
Speaking with Radio New Zealand, Robertson said:
“We have to take rape seriously, it’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.
“I’m sure Israel (Adesanya) understands that, I believe he has deleted the tweet (sic) in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.”
The 31 year old released a statement via his official Twitter account, where he apologized for the comment on Instagram.
Adesanya wrote on his official Twitter saying;
“Last weekend fight talk escalated to a point in which I crossed the line.
“I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was NEVER my intention. I am still to growing (sic) under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be selective with words under pressure.”
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) March 25, 2021