Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre earned an impressive victory over fast-talking Nick Diaz a few weeks ago at UFC 158 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, defending his world title for the eighth time.
However, despite his dominant performance, "Rush" may have unknowingly upset some Asian supporters -- Korean fans to be exact -- because of his Hayabusa-sponsored attire.
St. Pierre, a traditional martial artist who holds a black belt in Shidokan -- a form of Japanese Karate -- has often worn Japanese-influenced logos on his walkout gear, but the symbol of Japanese "Rising Sun Flag," was a reminder to Asians of the many war crimes its people fell victim to at the hands of the Japanese military.
"The Korean Zombie" respectfully explained his concerns to "GSP" via his Facebook page:
Dear Mr. Georges St. Pierre
Hi, My name is Chan Sung Jung from South Korea. As one of many Koreans who like you as an incredible athlete, I feel like I should tell you that many Korean fans, including myself, were shocked to see you in your gi designed after the Japanese 'Rising Sun Flag'. For Asians, this flag is a symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge. Did you know that? I hope not.
Just like Nazis, the Japanese also committed atrocities under the name of 'Militarism'. You can easily learn what they've done by googling (please do), although it's only the tiny tip of an enormous iceberg.
Furthermore, the Japanese Government never gave a sincere apology, and still to this day, so many victims are dying in pain, heartbroken, without being compensated. But many westerners like to wear clothes designed after the symbol under which so many war crimes and so much tragedy happened, which is ridiculous.
I know most of them are not militarists. I know most of them do not approve unjustified invasion, torture, massacre, etc. They're just ignorant. It's such a shame that many westerners are not aware of this tragic fact. Wearing Rising Sun outfits is as bad as wearing clothes with the Nazi mark on it, if not worse.
Since you're influenced by Japanese Martial Arts, your wearing a headband designed after Japanese flag is understandable. But again, that huge 'Rising Sun' on your Gi means something else.
Many people say GSP is the best Welterweight fighter throughout history, to which I totally agree. This means you have a great influence on every single fan of yours all around the world. And I do believe your wearing 'the symbol of War Crime' is a very bad example for them, not to mention for yourself.
So, what do you reckon?
Do you want to wear the same Gi next time as well?
- with Georges St-Pierre and Georges St-Pierre.
It looks like St. Pierre, as well as his sponsor Hayabusa, may have overlooked a tiny little detail when designing the 170-pound champion's Gi, which to many Korean's -- and other countries which were victims to Japanese aggression -- is considered offensive and associate the symbol with Japanese militarism and imperialism.
While it's highly unlikely neither St. Pierre nor Hayabusa were privy to this information before, "The Korean Zombie" begs the question: Knowing now that the "Rising Sun" symbol is as disrespectful as the swastika -- Adolf Hitler's hate-fueled brand under the Nazi movement -- will St. Pierre and Co. keep this history lesson in mind when deciding what to wear out for his next title defense?
One would hope he would at least take it under serious consideration.