Tyron Woodley made a statement during his appearance at the UFC Vegas 11 press conference on Thursday.
The former welterweight champion, who met longtime rival Colby Covington on Saturday, showed up wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt with a hat emblazoned with the words “Make Racists Catch the Fade Again” in the same. style as the “Make America Great” Hat made famous by President Donald Trump.
Once reporters started asking questions, Woodley shaped each highlighted answer with the same phrase – Black Lives Matter.
“I’m really excited that Black Lives Matter,” he said.
“I just think Black Lives Matter,” he said.
“I just hope they make Black Lives Matter,” he says.
“I really realize that Black Lives Matter,” he says.
“The fact that Black Lives Matter,” he says.
The Black Lives Matter movement was first launched in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman after he shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old African American named Trayvon Martin. The mission spelled out on the Black Lives Matter website is “to eradicate white supremacy and strengthen local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
In recent months, Black Lives Matter has taken center stage in numerous protests around the world after George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, as well as the recent shooting of Jacob Black, a black man who has was left paralyzed after being shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisc.
In an interview with ESPN earlier this week, Woodley shared his thoughts on the current climate in the sport today, where leagues such as the NBA have made strong statements in favor of Black Lives Matter.
“I love what the NBA has done,” explained Woodley. “You see Black Lives Matter on jerseys. You see it on the ground. You see the guys represent the late and great Chadwick [Boseman]. You see people are speaking out, and that’s what it will take. We cannot sit down. When these great dies, don’t let their deaths go in vain. Carry the torch. Muhammad Ali represented what he represented. He lost millions of dollars in his prime because of what he stood for. I think LeBron James is the same way.
“Some people don’t like his abrasiveness, but he means what he says. He has done a lot for culture. And when I say culture, don’t confuse it with black people. Culture is all fashion, music, art, whatever, it’s a culture that revolves around these things.
Woodley said in the same interview that he will wear Black Lives Matter over his shorts for his main clash with Covington. He added that he wanted the UFC to do more to show support in situations like these, especially after leagues like the NBA allowed players to wear certain messages on their jerseys during the 2020 playoffs. .
“I wish the UFC would do a little more; I’m really not happy with it, ”said Woodley. “I had a long conversation with Dana White about this when the riots happened in Ferguson. I wanted them to use me to show a positive twist.
“Let’s give back. Let’s go do seminars with these kids. Mixed Martial Arts is an affordable martial art that they can practice. Start doing seminars, bring in some of these guests and have them talk to the kids about life and what martial arts and discipline has given them.
Woodley certainly made it clear what he wanted in the spotlight with his appearance at Thursday’s press conference, and it’s likely he will continue to show that support throughout his fight this weekend.