Reebok, the UFC's apparel partner, said Tuesday in a statement that it disapproves of Colby Covington's recent comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Reebok is the uniform provider for the UFC, however we do not sponsor Colby Covington. We do not agree with the sentiments he expressed, and stand firm in our belief that Black lives matter," the company told Bloody Elbow's Tim Bissell. "We stand with athletes and communities who are fighting for change."
Covington defeated Tyron Woodley in the UFC Fight Night main event last weekend in Las Vegas. After the contest, the former interim welterweight champion called the BLM movement a "complete sham" and a "joke" while also associating it with terrorism.
"They're taking these people that are complete terrorists," Covington said during the postfight press conference, according to Bissell. "They're taking these people that are criminals. These aren't people that are hardworking Americans, blue-collar Americans. These are bad people. They're criminals.
"They shouldn't be attacking police. If you're breaking the law and you're threatening the cops with weapons, you deserve to get what you get. Law enforcement protects us all. If we don't have law enforcement, it'd be the wild wild west."
Covington called Woodley a "domestic terrorist sympathizer" in an Instagram post last Thursday, two days before their fight. Woodley used the phrase "Black lives matter" in each of his answers at the pre-fight press conference earlier that day. Covington said after his win that Woodley "stands for criminals" and "hates America."
UFC president Dana White said the promotion doesn't plan to censor Covington or any other fighter.
Covington also made a racist remark toward welterweight champion Kamaru Usman during a heated exchange on live TV last weekend.
"One of the things that we've never done here at the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things inside or outside the Octagon," White told reporters, according to MMA Fighting's Damon Martin. "Even if it's me, if it's about me. Who's more about free speech than we are? We literally let our people do or say whatever it is they do. It's normal."