UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is the latest to defend the comedian turned UFC color commentator and world-renown podcaster.
On the heels of his UFC 271 title defense against Robert Whittaker, “The Last Stylebender” made it clear where he stands in the polarization of Rogan.
All this fawning for Joe Rogan. Nah Izzy…that’s not it. pic.twitter.com/YBYjgUrvt8
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) February 11, 2022
“I’m Black. I can take this one, look. There’s a lot of c**ts in this game; there’s a lot of snakes in this game. I’ve been in this fight game since 2008, and Joe Rogan is one of the nicest, coolest humble motherf-ckers I’ve had the pleasure of working with; understand that.
“F**k the noise, man, you know what they’re trying to do, you can’t control them, man and he’s got the biggest platform in the world right now, so that’s my n***a Joe Rogan, f**k the noise. Keep doing you, Joe, have some mushrooms just keep doing you.”
Spotify has an exclusive licensing deal with Rogan, who has sprinkled racist language on his show for years. Spotify has not severed its relationship with Rogan.
Spotify Stands With Joe
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a message to employees released Sunday that the company is not severing ties with Rogan.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek said in the note. “And I want to make one point very clear — I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans also weighed in, showing his support for Rogan.
“It’s a very tough problem,” said Rashad Evans to TMZ Sports. “That compilation of the N-word, it’s hard to go against that. I know Joe, and I know the kind of person he is. Joe has never gave me any feeling or any kind of indication that he’s racist or anything like that.
“I believe that people just make some off-color remarks sometimes, and if you’re a comedian, you do that quite a bit, and you get comfortable doing that, you know. Not to excuse any of it, but at the same time, when you go back that far, I’m sure there can be a compilation of a lot of unfavorable things that a lot of people have said that can come back and bite them, you know.”
With cancel culture being pervasive amongst corporate brands that do not want to lose any support potentially, the pressure has been on the UFC and Spotify, where Rogan hosts the biggest podcast on the network, to make an amends or cut ties.
How Black male athletes look when they defend Joe Rogan pic.twitter.com/CJlfiiWBH3
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) February 11, 2022
Keeping The Same “Joe” Energy?
Evans feels that is a bad idea because he claims other prominent people like current President Joe Biden have passed their past racial transgressions.
“I think they (UFC) should stand by Joe Rogan,” Evans said. “I don’t think that those allegations and the compilation speaks to who Joe Rogan is now. I feel that in some respects, they give certain people a pass. Our president is one who they gave a pass to. There’s many things that I’ve heard him say that sounded racist, and I’ve heard him use the N-word in context like how Joe used it,” although it was unclear what Biden remarks he could have been referring to.
“So that’s completely overlooked, and he was considered the savior of people of color and supposed to be this guy to bring the nation together, but all of his past racism was overlooked, his affiliation with racist people was overlooked,” Evans continued. “I’m not saying he’s a racist or anything like that, but people can change, and people do change, and I don’t think that Joe Rogan is that racist person.”
Joe Rogan rips into media:
"The answer isn't to silence me. The answer is for you to do better." pic.twitter.com/fYoBj6AAa9
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) February 11, 2022
Mistake or Mindset?
“With the relationships that I’ve seen him have and how he’s treated me, I don’t think a racist person would be like that,” Evans insisted. “I just think that we are at a place in our culture where if people don’t like what you have to say, then you get canceled. When that’s the case, you walk a line that, inevitably, it’s going to bite everybody.”
The irony of the support by Black fighters for Rogan is telling of the sport’s culture that still has yet to grapple with its lack of diversity in leadership and audience outreach.
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