Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell was among many horrified by the recent death of George Floyd last week.
Ever since then, Black Lives Matter protests and marches have been going on throughout cities in America. However, it has also led to riots, unrest, looting and vandalism with small businesses notably getting affected.
Many within the MMA world are getting involved, and Liddell was one of them as footage recently surfaced of him calming tensions down between protestors during a Huntington Beach rally. Currently residing in Huntington Beach as his house is being repaired, “The Ice Man” revealed why he felt the need to step in and keep the peace.
“I went down to see what was going on and try to keep the peace a little bit,” Liddell told MMA Fighting. “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.”
When it comes to the protests, Liddell completely understands the anger especially after he watched footage of Floyd’s encounter with the police in disbelief. But while he’s all for protesting, he believes nothing will be achieved through violence.
“I’m all for protesting,” Liddell said. “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.”
An unfortunate side effect of these protests and marches has been the vandalism affecting many small businesses. Liddell’s message was to urge the public to avoid viewing them as the bad guys and ultimately remain as peaceful as possible.
“I made it down there to see what was going on and I couldn’t leave,” Liddell added. “I needed to help out and try to help people on both sides. I wanted to help people with their businesses and the people who were there to speak their mind, I didn’t want to see them get hurt either. A lot of these businesses [being vandalized], they are on your side. They’re not hurting people that are hurting you.
“… I know people are angry. The hate doesn’t combat hate. You’ve got to love. Perpetuating more violence and more violence, it’s not a good thing.”
It’s certainly the right message.
Tags: Chuck Liddell