UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones appeared to stop potential vandals Sunday night in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Jones could be heard telling two young men wearing masks to “give me the spray can.” The two men relented and gave Jones their spray paint cans. Someone off camera could be heard telling the men, “That’s not the way.”
In the written portion of his post, Jones questioned if the meaning of the national protests — spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 — had been lost due to looting and vandalism.
“Is this s— even about George Floyd anymore?!?” Jones wrote. “Why the f— are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse. If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s—. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”
Floyd, 46, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin, fired last Tuesday, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers were also fired, but have not been charged. The death of Floyd, who was black, sparked unprecedented protests across the United States over the weekend.
“I wouldnt wish the way George Floyd was murdered on my worst enemy,” Jones tweeted on May 26. “That officer applied just enough pressure to keep him alive for almost six minutes in that chokehold. In all my years of fighting I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything close to that level of torture.
“That whole if you can talk you can breathe crap is bulls—. What that man went through was worse than drowning.”
According to the Albuquerque Journal, peaceful protests devolved into rioting and looting in Albuquerque on Sunday night. The paper reported there were gunshots fired at police officers and several fires set in the downtown area.
Jones, a native of upstate New York, has lived and trained in Albuquerque for many years. JacksonWink MMA, one of the sport’s top gyms, is in the city and Jones has trained there for more than a decade.
Jones also made news over the weekend when he asked for his release from the UFC and said he would relinquish the light heavyweight title during an ongoing war of words with UFC president Dana White.