Earlier this week, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones made headlines for confiscating a can of spray paint from some would-be vandals during a protest in Albuquerque.
Speaking to Fox News, Jones opened up on his decision to intervene.
“I had a teammate give me a call, and he said ‘hey Jon, we’re having a protest, and there’s a lot of hispanics and caucasians down there, but there’s not a lot of African Americans in Albuquerque,'” Jones explained. “He said ‘we should get down there and be a black face.’ I said ‘that sounds great.’ He said ‘yeah, it’s going peacefully.’
“When I get down there, the peaceful protest was over, and a lot of people were just hanging around still,” Jones added. “The vandalism started right away. I just noticed the protesters leaving and going home. No one was saying anything. No one was speaking out. Everyone was just kind of scared of these hooligans taking over the town. I’ve never seen anything like it. No police were around anywhere. People were just doing whatever they wanted to places I like to hang out at.
“The longer I waited and just said nothing, I just started to feel like a coward,” Jones concluded. “I was just watching people doing whatever they wanted in our community, so I just started to talk to people and say ‘hey man, it’s not the way. It’s not the way.’ I just kind realized what kind of danger I was in approaching all these masked people asking them not to do certain things. Finally I had enough of it and I just started taking things from people.”
Jon Jones is currently in the midst of a very public contract dispute with the UFC, and has threatened to vacate his title if he’s not paid what he’s worth. Evidently, the champion is not letting the situation distract him from doing some good in his community.