German automaker BMW has dropped Nigerian-born UFC superstar, Israel Adesanya, as its ambassador following his recent thrash talk regarding rape.
Adesanya was due to be unveiled as the new face of the BMW New Zealand on Monday, the same day as the launch of the new BMW M3 and M4 models.
But his comment this week on social media – threatening to rape a fellow UFC fighter Kevin Holland – has got him in more trouble than he could’ve imagined.
“Bro, I will f….n rape you,” Adesanya had said as part of what he perceived as “fight talk.”
Earlier on Friday, Adesanya apologised for the comment on Instagram, which has since been deleted.
“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 as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure,” he said.
His apology apparently fell on deaf ears as in a statement credited to the Herald, BMW said, “Due to the comments made by an athlete online, we have reviewed our pending association with said athlete and we have decided not to push forward with a specific ambassador for the brand at this time in New Zealand.”
Adesanya’s stock has risen immensely in the public sphere in recent years, becoming one of UFC’s biggest stars.
The 31-year-old fighter has gained a 20-1 record in the middleweight division for which he is champion in, and was named Sportsman of the Year at the 2019 Halberg awards.