A day after “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung alerted UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre that the “Rising Sun” Hayabusa gi he wore at UFC 158 against Nick Diaz was offensive to Asians, the popular combat style clothing company issued an apology for their oversight.
On Sunday, Jung posted an open message to GSP on his Facebook addressing the controversial symbol he was promoting.
“For Asians, this flag is a symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge,” Jun wrote. “Did you know that? I hope not.
“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.”
The UFC featherweight then stressed the responsibly St-Pierre has as a global role model to set the right example to the millions that look up to him.
“Many people say GSP is the best welterweight fighter throughout history, to which I totally agree,” Jung added. “This means you have a great influence on every single fan of yours all around the world. And I do believe your wearing ‘the symbol of War Crime’ is a very bad example for them, not to mention for yourself.
“So, what do you reckon? Do you want to wear the same Gi next time as well?”
Hayabusa co-president Craig Clement agrees wholeheartedly with Jung and has accepted full responsibility for his company’s error. The gi will no longer be made available for purchase:
“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 offence this has caused.”
St-Pierre wore the “Rising Sun” gi in black (pictured above) in his UFC 154 win over Carlos Condit. However, Hayabusa didn’t come under fire for the outfit until the sun rays were made in red, which it was earlier this month at UFC 158.