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Israel Adesanya speaks at Black Lives Matter rally: 'I'm pissed off'

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The Black Lives Matter protests following last week’s killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer have gone worldwide, and a prominent UFC voice has lent his name to the cause. 

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya addressed a BLM rally outside the U.S. Embassy in his adopted hometown of Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday (Monday locally) and made it clear that he is fed up with how police treat people of African descent and racism in general.

“I’m pissed off,” Adesanya told the crowd. “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? How many of you walk down the street and have to kind of smile and try to make you see the person who already is scared of you, you make them feel comfortable?”

Adesanya also said that even in his new home, he feels he has to be deferential to white people who presume him to be guilty of something when he hasn’t done anything wrong.

“I just moved to a spot,” Adesanya said. “I’m at the top. I go in the elevator, three times already I’ve had to have racist, sacred white people jump when they see me, so I smile at them. So now I gotta go 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.”

The undefeated champion also understands that people like Derek Chauvin, who has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder in Floyd’s death, do not represent all non-black people, and he had a message for those of all races who showed up at the rally.

“We’ve been talking for so long, we’ve been marching for so long, but it’s not about us now,” Adesanya said. “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, because like he said, I’m sick and tired of seeing those face get killed because, guess what, I see myself in them. And it’s heartbreaking. man. I’m pissed off.”

You can watch Adesnya’s speech in the video below:

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