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UFC Star Israel Adesanya Delivers Powerful Emotionally-Charged Speech During 'Black Lives Matter Protest'

UFC Star Israel Adesanya Delivers Powerful Emotionally-Charged Speech During 'Black Lives Matter Protest'

Israel Adesanya was met with widespread applause from protesters after he poured out his anger and heartbreak over black people's treatment during his spine-tingling speech.

Protests across US cities and the world were sparked when George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes.

And UFC star Adesanya, who is of Nigerian descent, took part in a 'Black Lives Matter protest' on Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand.

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The 30-year-old UFC middleweight champ delivered a heartfelt speech as he admitted that he was "angry" and "p****d off" in the wake of Floyd's tragic death.

Adesanya told the protesters: "[...] I have to speak up. I've been doing it for like the last two weeks -- for the last two weeks on my [Instagram] Stories. If you watch it, you see it, I've been angry.

"I'm p****d off. Wait, hold up. How many of you walk into a store and have to put your hands behind your back just so they don't think you're stealing?

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"How many of you walk down the street and have to kind of smile and try and make the person who you can see is already scared of you make them feel comfortable?

"I just moved [to a new place] and I'm on the top floor and I have to go in the elevator. Three times already I've had to have racist, scared white people jump when they see me, and I smile at them.

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"So now I've got to stay to the side and let them walk through just so they don't get scared when they see me. Why? Because I'm black. Just because I'm black. What did I do? I didn't have a choice. If I had a choice, I'd still be black."

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Adesanya, who is undefeated in his MMA career, moved to New Zealand when he was only 10 as his parents wanted more educational opportunities for him growing up.

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The 'Last Stylebender' continued his speech by praising those people from different races who attended the protest and called on them to "speak up" for others.

Adesanya said: "After this, we're gonna march. But we've been talking for so long, we've been marching for so long. But it's not about us now.

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"Shoutout to all the white people, all the people of different races being here because we need you.

"We need you to speak up, we need you to say something 'cause like he said, I'm sick and tired of seeing those faces get killed because guess what? I see myself in them, the whole time, and it's heartbreaking, man."

Adesanya's rival Jon Jones was filmed taking to the streets as he confronted masked protesters amid the protests in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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UFC legend Chuck Liddell was also spotted breaking up fights during protests in Huntington Beach, California.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: UFC News, MMA News, Last Stylebender, UFC, MMA, Israel Adesanya

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]