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Hayabusa and GSP Apologize for Controversial Georges St-Pierre UFC 158 Attire (Update)

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Georges St-Pierre UFC 111In his most recent trip to the Octagon, Georges St-Pierre swirled in controversy over his relationship with Nick Diaz. He knew upon asking for that fight that trash talk and controversy would ensue, but what he didn’t realize was that his attire on the day of the fight would be a part of it.

St-Pierre, as he often does, wore a traditional gi to the Octagon at UFC 158. Only this time, it was a specifically designed gi produced by the popular fightwear company Hayabusa. The gi incorporated the Japanese Rising Sun design.

As Maggie Hendricks, writer for MMAWeekly.com official content partner Yahoo! Sports, reported, the Rising Sun symbolism wasn’t lost on fellow UFC fighter Chan Sung Jung, who wrote an open letter on his Facebook page to St-Pierre pointing out that many people, particularly in Asia, find the Rising Sun a highly offensive symbol.

“For Asians, this flag is a symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge. Did you know that? I hope not,” wrote Jung.

“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.”

As Hendricks noted, “The Rising Sun flag was used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, and it was banned by the United Nations in 1945.”

The symbolism of the Rising Sun seems to have been lost on many of us in the Western world, and it certainly was on Hayabusa, who swiftly moved to rectify the situation. Hayabusa co-president Craig Clement released a statement accepting responsibility for the gi and apologizing to those who may have been offended by it.

Hayabusa’s statement:

Since Georges St-Pierre wore our walkout gi at UFC 158 we have received attention surrounding the negative connotation of the rising sun graphic used. The last thing we want is to offend or alienate anyone with the choice of design on our products.

We at Hayabusa have the utmost respect for culture and history and appreciate all of our customers worldwide. As such, we accept full responsibility for this design and are taking all complaints and comments very seriously.

The gi worn by GSP will not be brought to market. In addition, we will be very conscious of this specific design element when developing future communication materials and products.

Please accept our sincerest apology for any offense this has caused. If you have any questions or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with us at customerservice@hayabusafightwear.com. One of our representatives will be happy to assist you.

St-Pierre, one of the most popular and well liked fighters in UFC history, a short time later added his own apology.

“I’d like to also personally apologize to anyone who was offended by this,” St-Pierre wrote on Facebook. “I am very sorry, that was never my intention.”

The tone of Jung’s original Facebook letter to St-Pierre was explanatory in tone. He held up St-Pierre as “the best welterweight fighter in history,” and seemed more concerned with enlightening St-Pierre and others as to what the Rising Sun’s symbolism means to a large number of people.

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  • http://twitter.com/humbertoguida Humberto Guida

    much ado about nothing. The rising sun symbol did not commit those crimes. Just like the swastika was an ancient eastern hindu symbol hijacked by the nazis. PLease stop getting worked up about misguidance about symbols people. We’re politically correct enough as it is…

    • Milosc

      ^^^ Obviously has not been through jack in his life

      Please stop passing narcissistic judgement, or one day you might find out just how ‘sensitive’ people are about having their relatives tortured, raped, and left massacred for nothing

      • celica421

        Neither have you. Have you been raped, tortured, massacred? Its the same as reperations for slaves, stop asking for forgiveness from people who had nothing to do with it. It’s a symbol, nothing more. If I decide I don’t like the american flag because america sold and bought slaves, are you going to denounce it too?? Quit being a sensative pu$$y.

    • dd

      just like the nazi symbol didnt commit those crimes..lets wear them around

    • jc103

      why don’t you wear the swastika around town and see how long you stay alive?

      • celica421

        The christian cross is a symbol that implies if I don’t believe in jesus, I will suffer for eternity. Should I have the right to be offended by that? Should I have the right to smash anybody with a cross tatoo? Yes a swastika may invoke violence, but if you are justifying it, you yourself deserve to be f***** up. Nothing spoken, symbolic, ect, should justify violence, so why do you suggest it?

    • stopinator

      what is it about the color red at a stop light that makes you stop? why don’t you just run right through it if it means nothing. the light doesn’t make you stop, it’s the meaning you associate to that color that makes you stop. like it or not, symbols have meaning to people.

      • celica421

        Red doesn’t mean stop to me, it means death if I continue. And it only has meaning if you give it meaning. I am white, would I care if some black guy called me a cracker? No, because I don’t have to give power to his opinion. When you object to words or symbols or opinions, you have insecurities that need to be dealt with.

    • pedro

      you should walk through the ghetto with a kkk outfit on and tell everybody wanting to kill you that they are only being politically correct and misguided because hey, the outfit is only cloth and the cloth didn’t commit those crimes of lynching and murder…smh

      • celica421

        Should I have the right to tell people with piercings to not wear them bc a person with many piercings raped my sister when she was young? Personal experience doesn’t justify controlling others, through dress or symbology. As I’ve said many times now, America bought and sold slaves, should we do away with the american flag? Nothing you or anybody else has experienced gives you the right to control another person, as long as they are not harming you. Women who wear too much makeup bother me, but I don’t have the right to force them to take it off. I could tattoo a huge swastika on my back, it may pi$$ off some people, but that does not give them the right to harm me or force me to remove it. That is called freedom, grow some skin.

        • pedro

          i’m not trying to control anybody nor am i condoning it. nowhere in my post did i say that. nor did i say anything about censoring things. my point was to the op who said that “people are misguided and worked up about symbols”. but symbols carry meaning to people. you cannot tell me that you are immune to the meaning of symbols. symbols mean different things to different people. so maybe get out of your tunnel and understand that a certain symbol can mean horrible things to a person even though it may not mean the same to you. what gives you the right to tell them how to feel? as a matter of fact, you are the one trying to control the way people should perceive things. all i was pointing out in my post is that it is understandable that certain people will get pissed off at certain symbols and to find out, he should go into the ghetto with a kkk outfit on. it has nothing to do with being pc or “growing some skin”. by all means, get a swastika on your back if you feel like it but if expect that people won’t get “worked up about it” or that they “should grow some skin”, then you’re living in a fantasy world.

        • IINUTZII

          Every individual has the right to express themselves in the ways you have have described. Every other individual has the right to be offended by it, and even to speak out about it. These two freedoms are linked together and cannot be separated. The offended do not have the right to tell you to remove the offensive attire, nor do you have the right to stop them from speaking out about it.

    • Peter

      Your level of ignorance amuses me.
      There is nothing here that had been misguided. The symbol is what it is.. It is offensive to many asian countries just like how many europeans get offended by the nazi flag.
      Difference is germany has stepped forward and took time to sincerely apologize for the past deeds whereas japan has done so little in fact they never seem to be shameful for what they have done.

      • celica421

        Again…..do you think black people are offended by the american flag because americans bought and sold slaves? I would imagine some are, so does that mean we should burn our flag and design a new one?

        • manowar

          You have your flags confused. The current American Flag wasn’t around when slaves were brought to America.

  • Jujutsu in Tampa

    Classy move by both GSP and Hayabusa. There was nothing wrong with Jung’s explanation, tone; nor the request, itself. The situation was handled considerably well by all parties. Kudos to all.

  • b-soc

    I honestly can’t believe there was any ill intent here. I’m fairly versed in history, and I didn’t know that. I simply thought of it as being cultural towards the fighting arts. Oh well. At least he didn’t come out with a Nazi symbol.

    • jc103

      “I’m fairly versed in history,” Apparently not. Though this has been handled well by all parties, which is the best outcome everyone hopes.

  • Sir_Roy

    I wonder – if China was so scarred by the war crimes committed by Japan 75 years ago, why then are they doing the same, and worse, to the Tibetan people TODAY.

    While WWII, and all events leading up to it, were horrific, China’s hypocrisy only a short decade thereafter is equally atrocious.

    They’ve raped, murdered and pillaged their way through Tibet for over 50 years. Their propaganda openly admitting that the TIbetan people are of less worth than pigs and dogs and needn’t be given any more regard.

    What then are we to say of China’s symbol on the world stage I wonder …

    • El Gvapo

      What have china got to do with anything in this story?

      • Sir_Roy

        If you really have to ask the question, then you need to brush up on your history. That’s like asking what the Jewish people have to do with the Nazi regime.

        • http://www.facebook.com/john.bunch.969 John Bunch

          I’m asking the question…wtf does China have to do with the concerns of a SOUTH Korean fighter? Pretty proficient in history and have yet to make your (il)logical leap to connect one Asian country with another…enlighten me please. And yes…the Chinese did screw the Tibetans, I agree with you on that!

          • celica421

            No, you are wrong. Some people a long time ago, who happened to live in china, “scewed” some people who happened to live in tibet. Those people are long dead, today there are new people alive, and regardless of race we are individuals. Would you hate hitlers great grandson just bc he is a relative? If so, I hope you come from a flawless lineage.

          • Sir_Roy

            Do your homework before commenting on something you know nothing about. Tibetan people are still very much oppressed today … and have been for the past 50 – 60 years. China has simply been very effective in the art of genocide, wiping out the people, their culture and their history.

            Heck, they recently built a friggin Burger King right above the Jokhang temple, their most holy of temples, in Lhasa just in spite. That’s akin to placing a McDonalds in the Vatican for Christians.

            I find your comment hard on the ears, in just how seeped in blind ignorance it truly is. Rest assured, the Tibetan people still suffer strongly and sourly at the hands of the Chinese.

          • Sir_Roy

            Because the SOUTH Korean fighter refers to ASIANS, and not solely KOREA for a valid reason. I thought obvious was obvious. Japan terrorized all of Asia … and especially China. Many would say China was hit worst of all. Again, he said ASIANS not just KOREANS. Last I checked, China was a part of Asia …

        • El Gvapo

          Yes I understand that China has a dodgy past and indeed present, my question was what does China have to do with THIS story? There’s no mention of China or anyone Chinese in the story.

      • Guest

        Actually…the question is pretty valid. What does China have to do with the concerns of a South Korean citizen’s questions about a symbol (as he sees it) of hatred? Or do all Asians look alike to you?

        • El Gvapo

          Was that aimed at me?

    • Dude.

      Well, if GSP ever comes out with a GI featuring the Chinese flag, then those people who are offended can have their say. If GSPs gi had Osama Bin Laden’s face on it, would you scold offended Americans for being hypocritics considering how the American Indians were treated?

      • Sir_Roy

        If the Americans were in the midst of raping, pillaging, murdering and wrongfully imprisoning Native Americans TODAY … then hell yes I would.

        And you better believe, that Georges Bush is to many Iraqi who’s children, wives, parents, friends, husbands were murdered (over a million innocent, nonmilitary lives lost), what Bin Laden is to many a New Yorker. Need to look past ones own navel when drawing comparisons …

        • http://www.facebook.com/john.bunch.969 John Bunch

          Dude…just man up and say you’re stretching things to save face…your intellectual point is valid…but emotions rule the world. C’mon…there are plenty of expressions and symbols that don’t bother me personally…and I can easily rationalize their existence based upon some silly little caveat. But the reality remains…some things offend some people. You can say F you to those people if you so choose…and you can also kiss endorsements and respect away in the process. Of course Native Americans endured quite possibly the greatest holocaust in the history of humanity…although Russian citizens (in WWII) died in larger numbers than any other ethnic group in the history of the world…but the point is…sometimes vanity is less important than respect. Peace brother…

        • dude

          Well, we need only to wait a few years when Iraq starts fighting with the Kurds or even Iran for you to say that Iraqis can no longer be offended by George Bushs image.

        • Milosc

          In the 1950′s, Iranians were the indians

          Through the 1960-80′s, central and south Americans were the indians

          Today, the arab world/muslims at large are the indians

          Africans, have ALWAYS been the indians. Everybody’s indians

          (Please see “John Perkins: Confessions of an Economic Hitman”)

    • Milosc

      This personalization of political motives and agendas is a slippery slope, but I see what you mean about irony

      That aside, I don’t think the ‘people’ suffering any atrocity would like it, or it’s remnants, on anyone else. Regular folks tend to be good people– well, unless you digest a lot of mass media..

      • Sir_Roy

        I have nothing, per say, against the Chinese people. Nothing at all. The Chinese military and government on the other hand …

        Though, point to a government that is without fault … right then.

    • Humguy

      you realize that Chan Sung Jung is korean and that japan f***** over many countries in asia, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.bunch.969 John Bunch

      Isn’t the Korean Zombie from Korea? wtf does China have to do with the basis of his concerns?

      • El Gvapo

        Exactly!! There’s no mention of China anywhere in the article.

        • Sir_Roy

          Last I checked, China was part of Asia bud. Chan refers to ASIANS and not just KOREANS for a very valid reason. The reason I allude principally to China, is Japan’s reign of terror through China is the most notorious. Though they did, indeed, brutalize all of Asia.

          • El Gvapo

            Yes I see your point now regarding Asians, I apologise. I think Orientals would be more specific (are you “allowed” to use that term anymore?) though, Asia encompasses India and Pakistan too, stretching as far as eastern turkey. I think the whole point of this story is that the symbol is offensive to some. What really bugs me on here is those who chastise others for their opinions, some of us find it offensive, some don’t. The flag isn’t the problem, it’s the connotations behind it and you have to be tolerant and compassionate to those who are affected by it. GSP probably wore it to take the heat of another dull fight.

          • MuayThaiFood

            You can say “oriental” but only if you are talking about rugs.

      • celica421

        BC even Koreans think they all look alike…

  • Ian Price

    China is an evil m…. F’…… But then again so is the US. And I love the US! (But not the atrocities)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.hannowsky Michael Hannowsky

    what gets lost here is the fact the GSP openly admitted in public he has no idea what goes on with his social media accounts only to later backtrack and try to save face by saying he tells them what to write…whatever as far as i see this there hasnt been any formal apology by one mr GOAT WW GSP…just sayin!!

    • Kris-tyahn

      So bc he doesn’t have anything to do with his social media, that means he’s NEVER allowed to use it in case of a situation like this?!? I’m pretty sure when GSP was told about this, he was like I need to make a public apology, what better way than social media …. But I forgot bc he doesn’t have anything to do with it, means he’s never use it to get his message out, without having a media nightmare. Just sayin’

      • King_DG

        someone else probably wrote that statement for him

  • Maddawgmar

    I glad they decided to say something. That whole situation had me pissed off so much that I was unable to enjoy that fight. No, wait, it was the fight that made me not enjoy the fight.

  • Economy Breasts

    The South Korean government absolved Japan of its responsibility for said war crimes in their Treaty of Basic Relations with Japan in 1965 (for a handout of $800 million US dollars), deeming the matter “completely and finally resolved.” Both sides signed on the dotted line — that was Japan’s apology, which the South Koreans accepted.

    I wonder if Jung, or any South Koreans for that matter, are taught about this fact in their schools. It’s not like it’s some big secret.

    • Humguy

      so that means that its ok to parade the symbol under which the atrocities were committed?

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.bunch.969 John Bunch

      And that legal/financial arrangement makes all the wounds go away? C’mon…nice try. Courts can rubber stamp political deals all they want…but they don’t make the afflicted stop bleeding. If someone raped my grandma and made her sleep with hundreds of “foreign” soldiers…a treaty would do very little to make me, and my family feel better. And you know better too…

    • huntingmark

      IN SOUTH KOREA, PEOPLE ARE NOT OFFENDED BY THE RISING SUN. WTF IS CHAN SAYING!!!??

  • Nick The Thooth

    Someone just got fired!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 Liemian Bresenio

    Brown pride still ok

    • Humguy

      just dont dare be proud to be white, that’s racist.

    • celica421

      Cain could easily change it. Change the P to a B and it would say BROWN BRIDE. No offense there…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000468891939 Liemian Bresenio

        WAR BROWN BRIDE!!!!

  • jbroce

    Glad this all got resolved but…I thought GSP wore that out to every fight?

    • Humguy

      normally its black rays and black sun.

  • Ozzo

    Wow, this is the result of a politically correct culture. You are not allowed to wear what you want because someone will cry over it. Chan San Jung you dirty gook, I hope the Japs come back to finish you off you censorship support commi bitch.

    • Long Wang

      I agree with what you say about overdone political correctness, but you really sabotage your earlier point by being deliberately offensive afterwards.
      What you’ve done is just another form of political correctness — a contrarian type, to be sure — but it still falls into the same trap, if you really think about it.

      • Humguy

        political correctness or curtsy?

    • huntingmark

      DUDE, CHAN IS LYING.

      THE RISING SUN IS NOT VIEWED THAT WAY IN ASIA. WHAT A JOKE.

      • El Gvapo

        I believe you because you said it in capitals. Makes you seem more knowledgable.

        • huntingmark

          I AM JUST FURIOUS THAT CHAN IS MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF NOTHING JUST TO GET PRESS COVERAGE. WHAT A JOKE.

          • El Gvapo

            I UNDERSTAND YOUR ANGER, GAAAAHHH.

  • Jason Decipher

    When you stand up for what you believe in NOTHING & NO ONE will stand in your way. Same should go for freedom of expression. You should not have to feel guilty for expressing yourself unless you didn’t know you were offending someone & you actually care that you might offend someone, DO YOUR RESEARCH! This argument can go either way. Forgive but never forget. Some people care what others think others DO NOT

  • Telemundo Babe

    ‘Brown Pride’ is still politically correct to say though, right?

    • Humguy

      yep, for some strange reason that’s ok.

      • defilingsoul

        I think we subconciously agree that the more people you genocide the less pride in your race you can openly express. Since you took your “pride” to horrible levels you can’t do that s*** again. So brown, black, jewish, native american, etc doesn’t inspire as much disgust. I will say though with the cartels doing what they are, brown pride is on its way to join white pride in the stfu corner.

    • huntingmark

      RISING SUN IS NOT “BROWN PRIDE.” NO WAY… IT DOESN’T CARRY ANY RACISM…WTF IS CHAN SAYING?

  • Me

    Feel the same way about the confederate flag. Should be banned. U lost the war. We all know what that flag means.

    • huntingmark

      THE RISING SUN IS NOT A CONFEDERATE FLAG.

      THE THING WITH SWATSTIKAS AND CONFERATE FLAG IS THAT MANY CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORICAL HATE-CRIME ORGANIZATIONS HAVE USED THEM TO PROMOTE HATE-CRIME.

      THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE RISING SUN. JAPANESE IMPERIALISTS, HATERS, RACISTS DO NOT USE THE RISING SUN THE WAY REDNECKS USE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG.

      CHAN IS TROLLING!!!

  • LOL

    ok!! we should ban us flag too.. we all know the atrocities they do all over the world ( Irak,afganistan, vietnam..) we should ban also the half of arabian flags.. LOL

    • huntingmark

      CHAN IS EXAGGERATING.

      THE RISING SUN IN ASIA IS NOT SWATSTIKA IN WESTERN EUROPE/USA.

      NO WAY.

  • Montrealanglo

    It’s good to be sensitive to what offends other people, but the important thing to distinguish here, which Chan Sung Jung alluded to, is that it is one thing to mistakenly display an offensive symbol, and it is quite another to display that symbol because you believe in what it stands for or because you want to offend people by doing so. It’s obvious that GSP, and probably Hayabusa as well, had no awareness of what this symbol still means to people in East Asia, and so this is not something that they should really even have to apologize for, but rather only acknowledge as an innocent mistake. If they refused to correct it, then they might have something to apologize for later on.

  • huntingmark

    THIS IS A LIE!!!!

    THE KOREAN ZOMBIE IS BEING A TROLL HERE.

    WTF??? VAST MAJORITY OF ASIANS WOULD NOT BE OFFENDED BY THE RISING SUN!!! THIS IS NOT THE SWATSTIKA!! NO WAY!!!

    CHAN IS TRYING TO GET ATTENTION. WHAT A JOKER.

    YES, ONLY 5% OF KOREAN POPULATION WOULD RELATE THE RISING SUN TO JAPANESE IMPERIALISM AND AS A RESULT BE OFFENDED THEREBY.

    NO WAY. TAKE YOUR FLAMING ELSE WHERE BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER BE CHAMPION CHAN!!

  • El Gvapo

    Are they gonna ban the white flag too as that’s what the Italians wave at the first sign of combat.

    • celica421

      Or the american flag as america was largely build using slavery as machinery? Let me guess, the zombie doesn’t care about slavery in america bc it didn’t affect him, so the american flag is ok?

      • El Gvapo

        I think you missed my joke.

        • Benito Mussolini

          Gvapo look at history bro…Romans ruled the whole world when America was still a no man’s land.

          • El Gvapo

            Not really. I don’t recall the Romans venturing as towards the southern reaches of Africa, nor the Americas, nor in fact the Far East. Or indeed Australasia. But yes they ruled the whole world as they knew it.

            But you’ve still missed my joke which was the whole point of my comment, maybe it was a bit too subtle.

    • huntingmark

      In any case, Chan is making a fuss over nothing.

      No korean gets offended by seeing what GSP wore.

  • Humberto Guida Sr

    Obviously words and symbols mean something, and we are responsible with how we use these to interact with people. These guys try to be tough or smart by not acknowledging it. It doesn’t matter if cracker, or the nazi symbol doesn’t offend you, you do know that it affects others. It doesn’t bother me either, but we don’t all think alike and you gotta take your environment into perspective. Same reason why you can’t where a shirt with FU*k you everywhere. Its just words, but obviously it has meaning just like everything being written here. Its a way of communicating, and communication generally involves multiple people.

    Also wanna say to add in random responses to these comments.
    Typical Bush lover
    Typical Obama lover
    Typical Democratic view
    Typical Republican view
    Typical Christian view
    Typical Atheist view

  • Fan from Seattle

    This is typical of the UFC and MMA as a whole These world class athletes have more class than all the other sports combined.I love the UFC and MMA mainly for that reason They continually go out of there way to show respect for there fans but for each other as well

  • http://twitter.com/Sarcastos666 Corey Hutton

    Bulls***, this is a joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/minick.nathan Minick Nathan

    intelligent!!