Lee Unafraid Of Publicly Endorsing Sanders
UFC lightweight contender Kevin Lee has no problems showing public support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Lee returned to winning ways at UFC 244 in November when he delivered an emphatic head kick knockout of Gregor Gillespie. Leading up to the bout, Lee spoke about his support for Sanders and after the win, made a post dedicated to him as well.
That led to Lee being invited to a Sanders rally in Las Vegas where he endorsed the democratic candidate.
Many have criticized Lee for brining politics into the world of sports but unlike NBA legend Michael Jordan — who declined the chance to endorse a candidate back in the day out of fear of damaging his public image and shoe sales — the “Motown Phenom” believes being a fighter makes it a different scenario.
“I think the difference with us is fighting is the most real thing that you really get. I don’t give a f*ck about brand and selling shoes,” Lee told MMA Fighting. “I’m not trying to do none of that. With the fights, we really try to put ourselves out to the world. What I truly am. That part really doesn’t bother me. I don’t really care about how many shoes I’m going to sell.
“I’m trying to do the best fights possible and part of me as a person is the things that I believe in, the things I’m going to support. If I’m feeling Bernie, I’m going for it and I feel like that kind of goes through with the fights. You can really feel it. In a basketball game, it’s just a game. They are all playing a game.”
Lee isn’t the only one though. Colby Covington has virtually made his support of U.S. President Donald Trump his gimmick while other fighters such as Jorge Masvidal and Bryce Mitchell have shouted him out as well. Not to mention, UFC president Dana White endorsed Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Lee does find it weird how many in the UFC support Trump, but will continue to support Sanders ahead of the November elections.
“I think some of them kind of try to get into the good graces of the UFC. Okay, I’ll just believe what you’re going to believe maybe,” Lee added. “I feel like as fighters we are a little bit too selfish. We don’t really see the greater good, especially with something like a union.
“I don’t know if it will ever happen because it’s hard to get everybody on the same page. I do think it’s a little weird [so many support Trump].”
For now, Lee is looking to build on his win against Gillespie. He faces Charles Oliveira in the UFC Brasilia headliner on March 14 next.
The Detroit native is hoping to eventually become champion by the end of the year. And if Sanders winds up being the new commander-in-chief, he will definitely take the belt to the White House.
“It’s going to look a whole lot better when I’ve actually got the title wrapped around my waist and I can take the title to the White House,” Lee said. “If all falls in line, I’m going to have my own picture in the White House with the belt next to it and I ain’t going to have to call Dana to get it done either.”
It would certainly be an ideal way to cap off 2020 for Lee.