George Floyd’s death last week has caused a plethora of protests worldwide, with some of those protests turning to vandalism.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell was recently shown on video trying to de-escalate one of those protests, which Liddell says he felt a responsibility to do.
“I’m all for protesting,” Liddell said to MMA Fighting. “You want to protest, whether I believe what you do or not, I support your right to protest. These [protests], I get it. I think anyone that has watched [the George Floyd video], it’s hard to watch. I hadn’t heard what happened at first and then I see it and I was watching it like ‘hold on, guys, get your knee off him’ and at that point I didn’t know he died. Watching it like are they going to stop? Is nobody going to say anything? Watching it in disbelief. So I understand the anger but violence begets violence. It’s not going to solve anything. I just did my best to keep people safe.”
Other MMA fighters such as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor have either spoken out against what happened to Floyd or have attended protests.
Liddell says he went down to the protests to see what exactly was going on and the fighter quickly noticed how quickly things got out of control.
“I went down to see what was going on and try to keep the peace a little bit,” Liddell said. “Try to keep people level headed. I was able to talk some people down and I heard some crazy stuff from all sides. It was crazy. I understand the people were there to defend their city. They didn’t want their city destroyed over this. They didn’t want people coming in from out of town and ripping down the city. It was one of those wild situations where there were bullies that try to pick on the easy targets. Not necessarily the big burly guy that looks pretty tough. They tend to bully on the smaller guy. They tend to pick on people. I can’t watch that.”
One of the four officers who were allegedly involved in Floyd’s death has been arrested at this time.