Donny Aaron, the husband and coach of UFC flyweight Andrea Lee, has a number of Nazi tattoos on his body. The first, a Swastika, appears near the elbow of his left arm (visible in the image above). The second, the SS bolts of Adolf Hilter’s Schutzstaffel, appears on his right arm (visible below).
These tattoos are not new, but only recently became public knowledge thanks to an social media post from Lee, in which Aaron’s swastika tattoo was brazenly displayed.
Unsurprisingly, Aaron quickly found himself engulfed in a firestorm of controversy and backlash as a result of these tattoos.
In a lengthy statement posted to social media, Aaron explained that he got these tattoos while serving a prison sentence many years ago, and that neither he not Lee is racist. Strangely, however, he says he will not get these symbols of hatred removed from his body.
Here’s what he had to say:
Please read this and accept my most sincere apologies to all I have offended when the photos of my tattoos became public. I’d most like to apologize to Andrea and my brother Kendrik (both pictured) for putting them in a position to feel the need to defend me when there is no defense or justification for the abhorrent tattoos that I ashamedly wear. I’d also like to apologize to her employers at the UFC for bringing them shame and embarrassment. Not least of these I apologize to MMA fans world wide for giving the sport a temporary black eye and for offending so many of those who’ve supported us for years. And to all of the elite pro fighters I’ve been blesses to work with I pray this doesn’t change your opinion of me even through most of this groups know my story.
Furthermore, I’d like to apologize to Andrea’s sponsors who were certainly blindsided by this as were many. Know that I only offer reasons, not excuses or justification for the choices I made in my 20s. My body is covered in tattoos that tell the story of where I have been, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve overcome. These “scars” tell my history which include a dark time when I was in prison. However, they do not accurately represent who I am today as a person, my personal belief system and the respect I have for people of all races and religion. For 13 years I have tried to atone for my sins and seek forgiveness from those most certainly find my body reprehensible. I’ve, in most cases, gone to great lengths to always wear long sleeves in public setting. The photo posted was complacent error in judgment as my excitement and not thoughtfulness ruled that day.
Many of you have offered solutions to my problem: Coverups, laser removal ect. Please trust me when I say I’ve explored both avenues and unfortunately neither is an option for me. In the meantime, I understand that many won’t forgive me and don’t believe in second chances and to you I say, ‘I understand’. I don’t deserve forgiveness and I’m certainly not asking for sympathy. If however you do believe in forgiveness, then I promise it won’t be wasted on me. I am a different human being un my mid 40’s that I was in my 20’s.
As a final statement to Andrea’s character, it’s with certainty that I can promise you that she didn’t marry a racist. When Andrea and I met, I had already began to reinvent my life and if she’d seen any racist behavior or attitude she’d have never given me the time of day. Instead, she met a man who was and still does speak to at risk youth, who goes and speaks to inmates, who is active in his church, and who has always offered pro bono training to physically challenged and unprivileged youth.
My life has become very culturally diverse and Andrea stared right passed my tattoos [and] at the man I’ve become. I can’t offer many solutions but I do offer this: Unless you go digging up old photos of me, you’ll never see my tattoos again. I’d rather hold the camera for Andrea, the real star anyway. Again, I offer myself as a humble and apologetic man.
Please don’t let the sins of my past define my future. Please don’t let your hatred over me bleed into hatred toward Andrea. If you have to hate someone then please hate me. She doesn’t deserve it. She is genuinely the best person I know.
Andrea Lee also issues several, shorter statements on her husband’s tattoos, making similar assurances that he isn’t racist. Several of these statements have since been deleted.
I actually have many ethnic friends, regardless of what y’all keep saying I am not racist, nor have I ever been. And the more you call me racist is never going to make it true.
— Andrea Lee (@AndreaKGBLee) June 3, 2018
Please read my full apology, this is to everyone who was upset or offended by me and my initial response. I sincerely apologize, it wasn’t thought out when I sent it, I deleted it immediately after I sent it when I was more rational and clear minded. 🙏 forgive me pic.twitter.com/9td65xNAmo
— Andrea Lee (@AndreaKGBLee) June 3, 2018
At present, it is not know how or if the UFC will react to this issue. Donny Aaron served as a cornerman for Andrea Lee during her UFC Chile Octagon debut, and it seems unlikely the promotion would have allowed him into the Octagon if it was known that his body is emblazoned with these sigils of Naziism.
Stay tuned for more updates on this situation as they emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/4/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM