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Israel Adesanya loses endorsement deal over rape comment


Nigerian-born UFC star Israel Adesanya has lost his BMW endorsement following the rape comment he made in an online video.

Adesanya was due to be unveiled as the face of the BMW New Zealand on Monday, 29 March, but the German car manufacturer decided to ditch him after the offensive comment he made earlier this week.

The UFC champion had earlier threatened to rape a fellow UFC fighter Kevin Holland.

“Bro, I will f….n rape you,” Adesanya said as part of what he perceived as fight talk.

Although the comment has since been deleted on Instagram, Adesanya has received severe backlash over his statement and has since issued an apology.

“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 growing under the spotlight, and I take this is as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure,” Adesanya said.

This prompted BMW to terminate its dealings with the UFC star.

In a statement on Friday, March 26, the car manufacturer said, “Due to the comments made by an athlete online, we have reviewed our pending association with the said athlete and we have decided not to push forward with a specific ambassador for the brand at this time in New Zealand.”

This is not the first time the 31-year-old has landed himself in a messy situation for disrespectful comments.

In February 2020, he was forced to issue an apology after saying his then-upcoming opponent Yoel Romero would ‘crumble like the twin towers’ against him and vowed to be more careful with my words in the future.

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