After seeing the profound cultural effect Neil Young’s boycott had on Spotify over Joe Rogan claims another musician decided to try and see if he can influence a giant corporation to give up the opportunity to make more money.
The musician in question is Amon Amarth’s frontman Johan Hegg. Hegg was dismayed that UFC isn’t following the route many sport federations took across the globe in banning Russian athletes. In fact UFC prominently featured Russian fighters on the last several cards with Islam Makhachev even headlining a Fight Night last month against Bobby Green.
This upcoming weekend UFC will be featuring a number of russians during UFC London including headliner Alex Volkov. This is something that angered the Swedish singer enough to go on an online rant.
“As long as @ufc allows Russian fighters to compete and make money, while children die in Ukraine, @ufc will not get my money.
I have now cancelled my fight pass.
Athletes represent their country and regime. Allowing Russian fighters to compete is to support Putin.”
Hegg followed that up with some clarifications saying:
“I feel I have to clarify my point of view. I love watching @ufc , and I have nothing but respect for the skill and dedication of the athletes competing in the octagon.
What is happening right now in Ukraine is a tragedy. It’s the biggest war we’ve seen in Europe since WWII.”
“Two weeks ago Putin made an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. A democratic, sovereign nation. In doing so he caused the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in modern history. ”
“1.5 million people has fled the war so far. Putin’s armies are committing war crimes such as shelling residential areas, hospitals and even firing on civilians trying to flee. So far over 30 children have been killed in this war. More than 70 wounded.”
“Putin has repeatedly broken cease fire agreements, basically luring people out of their shelters only to hit them with artillery. Am I angry and frustrated? Yes. This war doesn’t only threaten and affect Ukraine. Putin has threatened to invade Finland and Sweden.”
“He threatens the whole of Europe. Ukraine will not be able to export wheat and other crops during the invasion, which will have consequences for Middle Eastern and African nations that depend heavily on the Black Sea region for food. World Food Programme (WFP) executive…”
“Is it fair to target Russian fighters/athletes with sanctions? I think it is. It’s not that I want to hurt them personally, but there is no middle ground here. Athletes have influence. If they don’t want to speak up against this war, then why should they escape sanctions…”
“when people actually protesting the war in Russia, at the risk of being imprisoned or worse, do not? You don’t have to agree with me, I don’t expect everyone to do so, but in my opinion the world has to put enough pressure on Putin and his regime that he will end this war.”
Previously former UFC commentator Dan Hardy tried to stir controversy online by proposing similar sanctions – and then arguing against. UFC is a for profit organization – however the Disney ownership might create some obstacles along the way if the war were to further escalate or if they were significantly pressured to reconsider their position.
Amon Amarth is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Tumba, formed in 1992. It’s highly doubtful these statements will have any kind of effect on any fans of UFC outside of Sweden.