Rose Namajunas brought about fairly a stir earlier this week when she dropped a fairly harsh “higher useless than crimson” quote whereas discussing her upcoming UFC 261 opponent, China’s Weili Zhang. On its face the assertion comes throughout fairly xenophobic at a time the place “Yellow Peril” is on the rise once more and plenty of Asians have discovered themselves being focused and/or straight up assaulted for his or her ethnicity.
In a comply with up interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Namajunas didn’t again down from her earlier feedback, however did attempt to make clear her background as a Lithuanian whose ancestors had suffered tremendously below Soviet communism. She referenced the documentary, “The Different Dream Workforce” because the driving pressure behind her makes an attempt to channel historical past into sports activities success. That film covers the Lithuanian nationwide basketball workforce’s first Olympics out from below the yoke of USSR management.
“My opinions are based mostly on my experiences,” Namajunas mentioned. “It’s not one thing I regarded up on YouTube. That is an precise reference to a documentary. If you happen to’re confused about any of my opinions, you possibly can watch the documentary, and you can get a good suggestion as to what my household needed to undergo, the explanation I’m in the USA at present, the explanation that I do blended martial arts, all of that stuff. I’d most likely have a extremely completely different life if it wasn’t for simply the whole lot in that documentary, how Lithuanians needed to battle with communism oppression.
“The rationale I introduced it up and referenced it’s the reporter prompt that I had animosity towards previous opponents, and that’s what possibly brought about some motivation in these fights,” she continued. “And this one, there’s no animosity due to this fact there’s a scarcity of motivation. However that may’t be farther from the reality. Primary: I don’t have any animosity towards anybody. Clearly, I’m not good, I’m a sinner, I’ve feelings. However after I’m combating there’s no feelings in the direction of that individual, it’s simply the outward manifestation of my internal demons that I’ve to face every single day. In order that’s primary: no animosity in the direction of anyone. This isn’t directed in the direction of Weili as an individual.
“On the similar time, I’m motivated for this battle greater than ever,” she continued. “This battle, that is my historical past, that is the place I come from, and these are the demons that I’ve to face every single day. So yeah, I dunno. That’s simply how I really feel about it and if there’s any confusion, watch the documentary. I actually encourage individuals to try this. It’s one thing I’m very grateful for as a result of going by means of all that and understanding all of the historical past, it jogs my memory why freedom is so necessary, particularly at the moment the place my grandfather needed to go away within the hospital by himself and individuals are dying alone in hospitals with out their relations. We should always have the liberty to be with our households.”
“That’s simply my opinion, however it’s based mostly on information and it’s based mostly on expertise, not simply one thing that I got here up with.”
Helwani requested if she thought it was truthful to place all of communism’s sins onto Zhang’s head, even simply symbolically, when Zhang has by no means made any statements relating to the ruling get together of China and has been for probably the most half non-political.
“I don’t know what her beliefs are,” Namajunas admitted. “However right here’s the factor, and possibly it is a query we will ask her: can we actually even know what she actually believes? She could also be being informed what to say, I don’t know? Can we really know what she believes?
“With Communism, you possibly can’t freely have an opinion, you possibly can’t criticize your authorities,” she continued. “I can speak about America and the way imperfect it’s and the way there’s plenty of stuff tousled about us, and I’m very grateful for that freedom.”