Before this week, Dennis Hallman’s decision to wear bikini briefs to the Octagon was the biggest controversy the sport had seen relating to ring-attire. However, UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung’s decision to express concern over the design of welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s gi at UFC 158 has taken things to a new level.
Jung recently posted a message on his Facebook page questioning the use of the Rising Sun on St-Pierre’s attire given the image’s association with war crimes committed by Japan decades ago. Though he never insinuated St-Pierre supported the nation’s past behavior, June simply wanted to raise awareness for the cause and definitely succeeded in that endeavor.
Both St-Pierre and Hayabusa, who manufactured the gi, have responded to Jung’s criticism, showing compassion for his pleas rather than taking a defensive stance.
“I’d like to personally apologize to anyone who was offended by this. I am very sorry, that was never my intention,” wrote St-Pierre on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Hayabusa promised to be more sensitive about using the Rising Sun logo on future products and will not manufacture replicas of GSP’s gi at UFC 158 for future sale.
“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,” explained the Hayabusa President Craig Clement. “Please accept our sincerest apology for any offense this has caused.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/HAYABUSA