According to an Oct. 22 post from Bloody Elbow, Chan Sung Jung was offended that Ronda Rousey wore a rising sun t-shirt during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 18.
The rising sun symbol of militaristic Japan is offensive to many Koreans, as they associate it with war crimes. “Korean Zombie” was so offended by Rousey’s choice to sport the shirt that he wrote an open letter to the UFC about it.
“Hi, Korean Zombie here. I’m delivering this message on behalf of over 800,000 members of combative sport café, one of the biggest MMA blogs in Korea,” Sung Jung wrote of the Rousey situation. “We have decided to take the time to speak up for what we know is right, because we do believe this is something that UFC management should absolutely be aware of. Let’s get straight to the point. It’s about ‘Rising Sun Flag’ outfits. And our point is that this design is the symbol of war crimes, and that every single item designed after this symbol of war crimes should be kicked out of the UFC, firstly for justice, and then for the company.
“…Let bygones be bygones? Get over it? Unjustified invasion, torture, massacre, military and sexual slavery, medical experiments on living prisoners of war and many other war crimes scarred too many people. It can never be forgotten. This is a tragic history for all of us. Furthermore, the Japanese government never gave a sincere apology, and is even trying to justify and distort their dirty, nasty history. Still to this day, so many victims are dying in pain, heartbroken, without being properly compensated.”
“Korean Zombie” successfully got Georges St-Pierre to stop sporting the rising sun symbol and to apologize for his use of it just a few months back. However, he won’t be satisfied until all UFC fighters banish the symbol from their wardrobes.
“I was happy because I thought we have succeeded in educating a chunk of the world on a very important issue, and that we no longer have to see that symbol of war crimes, at least around the Octagon,” he wrote. “But a few days later, another UFC champion and the symbol of WMMA, Ronda Rousey was seen in that ‘Rising Sun Flag’ outfit. Two UFC champions wearing the symbol of war crimes! Don’t you think this will be an awful example for our company, which actually does a lot of charity stuff for troops as well?
“This sport, mixed martial arts, is growing very fast. And on the top of everything is the UFC. It’s been crossing borders with great ease. The event was a great success in Europe, Australia and Brazil, and now it’s time for Asia. As a fighter, I’m really excited and happy to see the sport growing, but I don’t even want to imagine UFC fighters in those outfits, especially in Asia. A lot of furious, heartbroken people will boycott the UFC, leading to a loss of a lot of (potential) fans, which will end up leaving a very bad impression on the Asian market. I mean, can you imagine our fighters in Nazi outfits in Europe? For us Asians, it’s nothing different.”
In all likelihood, Rousey had no idea she was offending anyone by wearing a shirt with the rising sun logo. However, now that she knows some in the Asian MMA community were bothered by the symbol, perhaps she’ll opt to stop wearing such shirts.