A day after a photo of Ronda Rousey appeared on the internet showing her at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, more details are starting to emerge regarding her participation in protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. Late last year the US Army Corps Of Engineers denied a permit to allow the pipeline to cross the Missouri River near Standing Rock until further environmental research was done. But on Tuesday morning, President Trump overruled that decision with an executive order that will put both the controversial Dakota Access and KeystoneXL pipelines back into production.
It seemed like rather good timing, then, that Ronda Rousey would show up that night in Standing Rock. She and Trump have butted heads repeatedly in the past, so maybe this was in direct response to his actions? But it turns out she was actually there last week delivering supplies with former judo teammate Pauline Macias, and in keeping with her general aversion to the media spotlight, she had asked to keep the visit secret.
But now that the story is out, protester Linda Black-Elk (seen in between Rousey and Macias) let TMZ in on the scope of her help, saying “She brought a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, tents, wood stoves, she did a huge firewood order for us and had it delivered right to camp.”
Ronda also told Black-Elk that she’d be back on the front lines at Standing Rock ready to "get pepper sprayed alongside everyone else."
Well the news is out now! Last week, my sister and Ronda Rousey traveled to North Dakota to deliver supplies to the protesters of the Dakota access pipeline. I'm so proud of you amazing ladies! (This photo got leaked, so now I can tell my friends how amazing and caring these ladies truly are!) #armbarnation #nodapl #rondarousey #standwithstandingrock #PitaLiving #UFC #standingrock #NoDak #TeamPita
"I had one of the best road trips of my life with Ronda Rousey to deliver supplies to the protesters at Standing Rock!" Pauline said on Instagram after the news of their visit leaked on social media. "This was such an incredible experience, and I can't thank my friend enough for allowing me to be a part of it!"
Ronda Rousey may not be too upset that the story has gotten out, either. After the photo of her at Standing Rock appeared on Reddit, some mysterious person started giving Reddit Gold (a kind of premium upvote on the site that costs $2.50 a pop) to everyone commenting in the thread -- we counted over three hundred 'gilded' posts. Rousey's love of Reddit came up in a recent ESPN interview, and an Instagram image she posted last week came from the site, leading many to believe it was Ronda doling out the gold.
Whatever the case, Ronda's appearance at Standing Rock has given the protest a good blast of publicity when it needs it most. It's certainly helped Ronda's reputation amongst many MMA fans as well following the poorly received media blackout she enforced surrounding her UFC 207 loss. Now let's see what she follows this up with.