Hoelzer Reich Banned By UFC & WEC & STRIKEFORCE UPDATED!

The controversial clothing company Hoelzer Reich has been banned by the parent company of both the UFC and WEC, Zuffa.

The news came directly from WEC General Manager Reed Harris in a recent report over at Yahoo! Sports.

Hoelzer Reich has been attracting increasing amounts of negative attention with their clothing due to the use of imagery that is often associated with the Nazi party.

“We do not have any Political affiliations with any organizations, nor specific views of any controversial parties. Our interest in the Iron Cross and German history comes strictly from a historical and ancestral standpoint. For many years, we have collected German memorabilia dating back to the early 1800′s, which has been passed through the family for generations. The Iron cross symbol and other German-inspired imagery used on our apparel dates back hundreds of years, and does not depict a certain time of German History.” – from the Hoelzer Reich website.

[opinion] When dealing with sensitive subject matter such as this, the message is the message received.

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That would be one of many examples. I for one find it curious that the people at Hoelzer Reich cannot understand where there might be a problem. Perhaps that is the problem in itself.

***UPDATE.

A report by FanHouse this morning has confirmed the San Jose based Strikeforce has also banned the clothing company.  Director of communications Mike Afromowitz  issued a brief statement on the subject. “We will not permit our fighters to wear this type of apparel in our cage,” Afromowitz said. “Strikeforce will not tolerate any offensive behavior at any location or at any time by its fighters.”

26 COMMENTS
  • elsicilian says:

    Clearly the Schutzstaffel lightning bolts aren’t evocative of any particular time in german history, either …

    Well-Done. Thumb up 27 Thumb down 8

  • Dufresne says:

    “The Iron cross symbol and other German-inspired imagery used on our apparel dates back hundreds of years, and does not depict a certain time of German History.”

    That may be factually correct, but it’s not how 99.9% of the people in the world see it (me included).

    The iron cross has been around for a long time true, but the double lightning bolts? How do they rationalize using the symbol for the SS as non-offensive?

    I have no problem at all with the WEC banning this line of clothing.

    I think Andrest said it best already, “I for one find it curious that the people at Hoelzer Reich cannot understand where there [sic] might be a problem. Perhaps that is the problem in itself.”

    Well-Done. Thumb up 48 Thumb down 4

  • danw84 says:

    They don’t see it as a problem, fair enough, but as has been said the only important thing is how everyone else sees it.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  • wendelclark says:

    elsicilian: Clearly the Schutzstaffel lightning bolts aren’t evocative of any particular time in german history, either …

    Uh you do realized that the Schutzstaffel bolts are on the left shirt from Aryan Wear… it’s not from the company in question. Still, a stylized logo based on that symbol in the second shirt is still in very poor taste. I have no problems with this company being banned from the WEC, I hate censorship but WEC is a private company and open to do business with anyone they chose.

    Come to think of it, the swastika has been around thousands of years from the Navajo to early christians… yes it was a peaceful symbol that reflected love and values much different from how we see it today. That doesn’t mean I’m going to start a company, slap it on a shift and plead ignorance because it meant something different at one time. They know what they’re doing and they know who they are emulating. Buy their shirts if you want to, I’ll just continue to think those that do are douchbags.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  • ByronGiant says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 28

  • qat says:

    good move. of course they are saying things like that to defend themselves and open themselves to bigger markets. but there is no way around it, this is a fuckin nazi company.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  • qat says:

    btw. while i dont get the controversy about the iron cross, which was used for a long time in prussia & germany and is still used by the german military as signet, other symbols and texts and the whole design of the shirts are pretty obvious.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  • Dufresne says:

    I got curious and went to the Hoelzer website to look around. I did not find any patterns that blatantly had the SS bolts (although I did find a few that had lightning bolts that were pretty close), and they do have a description of the history of the Iron Cross and several other semi-iconic patterns/styles that they market. And even with what I know of history and what they claim about it being a tribute to Germany/Prussian/Russian heritage, I cannot understand how they fail to see what could be offensive. Yes the colors of Prussia were red, white, and black, but so were the colors of the Nazi party. Sure, lots of armies have used that style of helmet and officer’s cap, but the one army everyone relates it to is the German army of WWII.
    That would be like me starting a clothing line whose colors were red, white, and blue and whose patterns revolved around stripes, stars and eagles and not understanding why people would associate it with the United States. Yes lots of other countries use those colors, and stripes, stars and eagles have been used for millennia in all sorts of decorations, but come on, that combination will forever be associated with the USA. If you saw a person anywhere in the world wearing a combination of those colors and patterns you would probably think something to the effect of “He’s a patriot” or “He loves America.”
    Don’t you think that if you have the same coloration as one of the most evil dictatorships the planet has seen, that committed the greatest war crimes in humanity, you might make an association? Valid or not?
    (I am in no way comparing the USA to Nazi Germany, just to be clear.)

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  • elsicilian says:

    wendelclark: Uh you do realized that the Schutzstaffel bolts are on the left shirt from Aryan Wear… it’s not from the company in question. Still, a stylized logo based on that symbol in the second shirt is still in very poor taste.

    Until very recently, the lightning bolts have been featured prominently and ubiquitously in most of the Hoelzer Reich designs (not simply implied in the stylized HR logo, as you have noted). My point was that (the pictures above notwithstanding) this company has consistently *avoided* using swastikas, while liberally employing death’s head insignias, lightning bolts, slogans, and other less infamous (though equally provocative) Third Reich imagery. Their whole business model has been based on flirting with neo-naziism, and talking out of both sides of their mouth when responding to charges of the same.

    The UFC banned Hendo’s Clinch Gear the instant his contract expired (in an apparent negotiation tactic), and banned Affliction the second Tom Atencio looked at Dana White funny, so it’s kind of surprising that Hoelzer Reich wasn’t banned from the moment of its inception. Better late than never, I guess …

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  • Dreadedfistofthenorthwest says:

    First off, anyone who would wear something like this would have to be completely ignorant. I agree with wendelclark (leafs suck!) that censorship sucks but private companies can choose who they allow to sponsor their events. Lets look at things from another perspective. I remember Chuck Liddel on Entourage wearing a “Support” shirt. In case anyone doesn’t know, that’s “Support the Hell’s Angels”. Maybe he did not wear that into the ring, but who knows where all his sponsorship money comes from. Affliction shirts were routinely banned in my town of Vancouver for their supposed links to organized crime (don’t know if that’s true). Nike uses child labour, like most clothing manufacturers. So before we all start thumbing our noses, look what YOU are wearing and what it supports. For the record, Nazis are “the slime of humanity”.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  • elkymbo says:

    Surely there’s more interesting shit to talk about than this.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

  • Dufresne says:

    Well it’s 3 am here and I should be studying for a final in 4 hours, so not really.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  • danw84 says:

    The thing these guys need to understand is the whole idea of some people ruining things for everyone else. It sucks, but these guys need to accept that the Nazis ruined these symbols and they will continue to be associated with the Nazi party.

    And that’s assuming they are using these symbols in as innocent a way as they claim. If so many people see these clothes as bringing up ideas of Neo-Nazism and other things, guess who else probably sees them the same way and probably wears them in that way?

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  • Nick Havok says:

    Other than having Dana White as their spokesperson, it seems like Zuffa is all about being politically correct.

    Anyone notice how Marcus isn’t ‘The Darkness’ Jones anymore?

    Nope, he is ‘Big baby’ now…and I’m willing to bet anything that Marcus didn’t choose to have his name switched. I don’t think he liked being called that at all. I mean he even named one of his blog entries on his website ‘Don’t Call Me Big Baby’…but that name change was probably a stipulation by the UFC to let him fight in the finale. You know…he has to fit their promotional mold. I’d compare it to how Vince McMahon has creative control over his wrestler’s gimmicks in the WWE.

    But other than pandering to the casual fan, it really seems like Zuffa is trying to keep their image clean these days. They are not trying to offend anyone.

    …now, if they can just do something about Cain Velasquez’s chest.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 15

  • Angry Mike says:

    Big Baby got that nickname on TUF, and it was from one of the coaches. I can’t remember whether it was Rampage or Rashad. If Jones wanted to call himself The Darkness, I can’t imagine why UFC would would stop him.

    And as far as the T-shirt company is concerned, all this controversy is getting them more publicity than they would ever get. I’d never heard of them before this.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  • fetussandwich says:

    They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • elsicilian says:

    fetussandwich: They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    Although I accept that idea as a generally reasonable truism, I don’t think it is true in an absolute sense. And if ever there *was* such a thing as bad publicity, you would think that being associated with the nazi party and the third reich would be it.

    It’s not like a whole lot of otherwise mainstream people are going to be turned on by HR’s provocative and controversial designs, then all of a sudden start sporting swastikas and death’s head insignias. You’re kind of into that sort of thing or you aren’t … I don’t think there aren too many people on the fence.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • fetussandwich says:

    Albeit “bad” at the literal sense of the word both in taste in judgment, where was this company before they released these shirts? Nowhere. Where is this company now? The centerpiece of a heated debate amongst the MMA community, their key demographic. It’s more so the fact they’ve gotten their name out their at virtually no cost to them other than sacrificing morals and values they clearly don’t have in the first place to do so. Does this mean you’ll be wrapping up their apparel this holiday season for the Third Reich enthusiast on your list? Not at all, but now they’re a name in your recollection, as opposed to being essentially unknown as they were to many people before.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  • elsicilian says:

    Valid points fetussandwich, but that’s kind of what I was trying to get at … publicity for its own sake isn’t really good for much of anything; it’s generally considered valuable for branding/awareness purposes, but that value is only realized by subsequently moving product (whatever that product might be).

    HR’s business model (described above) seems to depend on the smallest bit of plausible (or nominal) deniability, and this sort of publicity seems to undermine that significantly. I guess we’ll see how much it affects them, but I can’t imagine that being unequivocally branded as a neo-nazi affiliate will make its products *more* appealing to their key demographic (the MMA community, which can be occasionally ignorant and often exhibits questionable sartorial taste, but doesn’t seem particularly racist or facist as a whole).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    Nick Havok: Anyone notice how Marcus isn’t ‘The Darkness’ Jones anymore?

    Nope, he is ‘Big baby’ now…and I’m willing to bet anything that Marcus didn’t choose to have his name switched. I don’t think he liked being called that at all. I mean he even named one of his blog entries on his website ‘Don’t Call Me Big Baby’…but that name change was probably a stipulation by the UFC to let him fight in the finale. You know…he has to fit their promotional mold. I’d compare it to how Vince McMahon has creative control over his wrestler’s gimmicks in the WWE.

    This isn’t the first time the UFC has changed a fighter’s nickname. When the UFC went to Ireland they changed Marcus Davis’s nickname from “The Irish Hand Grenade” to “The Celtic Warrior.”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Kamakosmo says:

    I totally agree with what DANW84 said. Whether or not these “symbols” have thousands of years of being used, they are now asoociated with ONLY one thing…and we all know what that is.

    It goes the same for the “Hitler” mustache. Because of that dick, nobody can ever rock that -stache again!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  • qat says:

    Kamakosmo: I totally agree with what DANW84 said. Whether or not these “symbols” have thousands of years of being used, they are now asoociated with ONLY one thing…and we all know what that is.

    im sorry, but thats wrong.
    the iron cross is not a nazi-symbol. as i already said, the iron cross is STILL used as main symbol for the whole german military (army, navy and airforce), you can research that. and it would most certainly not be used if it were a nazi-symbol.
    yes it was used in the era of the nazis as well – but so was the alphabet and so was the language and so were many other things. should that all be changed? and just because some racist are using it on their shirts now, it does not become a nazi-symbol either.

    ignorance just wont do in this case, you have to clearly distinguish between a swastika – and what it stands for, and an iron cross – and what it does not stand for.
    dont get me wrong here, i already stated that hoelzer reich is most definitely a nazi-company, and that they should be banned anywhere possible. but dont give fuckers like that the power to change meanings of symbols like the iron cross.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • elsicilian says:

    qat:
    im sorry, but thats wrong.
    the iron cross is not a nazi-symbol. as i already said, the iron cross is STILL used as main symbol for the whole german military (army, navy and airforce), you can research that. and it would most certainly not be used if it were a nazi-symbol.
    yes it was used in the era of the nazis as well – but so was the alphabet and so was the language and so were many other things. should that all be changed? and just because some racist are using it on their shirts now, it does not become a nazi-symbol either.ignorance just wont do in this case, you have to clearly distinguish between a swastika – and what it stands for, and an iron cross – and what it does not stand for.
    dont get me wrong here, i already stated that hoelzer reich is most definitely a nazi-company, and that they should be banned anywhere possible. but dont give fuckers like that the power to change meanings of symbols like the iron cross.

    This is precisely the problem. Nobody’s maligning the Iron Cross per se, or disputing its broader use as a Prussian / German military symbol from the 19th century through the present day. Hoelzer Reich is trying to disingenuously frame the debate around the Iron Cross, even though critics are *actually* objecting to the abundant and unambiguous nazi imagery reflected in their designs, and across their brand as a whole.

    Personally, I don’t really care either way about defending the honor of the Iron Cross (I’m not German, and the sanctity of their military icons is no concern of mine). But even discussing the Iron Cross is REALLY missing the point, which is exactly the goal Hoelzer Reich’s public statement (quoted in the original article) was intended to achieve.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • molonlabe says:

    Hey guys…you saw the one shirt featuring the eagle and the words “Blood and Honor” that is a direct translation of the theme of the Hitler Youth. You cant get a more blatant tip of the hat to a brainwashed group of people than the Hitler Youth who were raised to by the principles of what is was to be an ideal Nazi. These guys can say what they want but they clearly had an agenda or were the most truly unbelievably clueless people to run a business.

    This is right there with the one fighter featured on either Strikeforce or EliteXc that had to have tattoos covered on the tv broadcast after someone noticed he had some Nazi slogans and/or symbols on his torso.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • ctownhood says:

    “Where is this company now? The centerpiece of a heated debate amongst the MMA community, ”

    fetussandwich….and how is this helping the company? Being racist isn’t going to lead to merchandise sale in the MMA community. Maybe some skinheads or other racist groups will but a t shirt or 2…but this isn’t helping them in any way. And your avatar says all we need to know about you

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • edub says:

    I think you guys disputing the results of the companies actions should just look at the examples on the bottom of the page. HR obviously tried to mimmick a little bit of the design of the white power shirt. Where the SS thunderbolts are on the neck of the Eagle they just put HR.

    This ban is valid until they change around all their designs for clothing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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