Andrea Lee is standing by her man and his swastika tattoo.
The UFC star shared a picture of an outing at a lake with her husband and coach, Donny Aaron, and some of her Twitter followers quickly noticed a pro-Nazi tattoo on his forearm. Lee tried to crop the picture and re-post it, the New York Post noted, but by then the damage was done.
When called out on it, Andrea Lee struck a defensive tone, saying her husband had gotten the tattoo in prison and blasting the “sensitive-a** mofos” who took issue with it. As Deadline noted, she also argued with some of the Twitter users who called her out.
Aaron later posted an apology and explanation, saying that the tattoo was a “scar” that did not represent who he is today. He said he would have the tattoo covered, but that would look even more “redneck.” Andrea Lee also said that the couple has an Asian daughter and live with a black friend.
As Deadline reported, the flap comes at a particularly bad time for the UFC, which just inked a major deal with ESPN for broadcasting rights. The controversy over Aaron’s Nazi tattoo and the defensive stance from Lee overshadowed the massive deal.
“[S]ources confirmed to Deadline earlier today that the UFC would get $300 million a year in a five-year deal starting in January — double what Fox paid on an average annual basis. Endeavor, which led the $4 billion acquisition of the UFC in 2016, had been in talks with a range of suitors, including Fox. The streaming rights acquired by ESPN+, the newly launched streaming service, came in at $150 million a year.”
UFC fighter Andrea Lee’s husband Donny Aaron issued a statement after the Nazi tattoos on his arms came to late last night on social media pic.twitter.com/Z7GdgSlTlz
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) June 2, 2018
Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee’s husband has a swastika tattooed on his forearm. pic.twitter.com/NTntH0paRr
— Flyin’ Brian J (@FlyinBrianJ) June 2, 2018
The controversy continued after the initial apology from Aaron. Another user found a second Nazi-themed tattoo on Aaron’s right arm and a comment from last month where he admitted to having racist tattoos that he normally keeps covered with long sleeves. Aaron said he had no plans to have the tattoos covered permanently.
Another one. HOW LONG WAS THIS GUY IN PRISON? pic.twitter.com/GsLTT8edfZ
— JE Snowden (@JESnowden) June 2, 2018
Many critics did not like the defensive tone and Lee’s attempts to downplay the significance of the Nazi-themed tattoo. Others noted that many tattoo artists will cover up Nazi-themed prison tattoos for free, taking issue with Aaron’s hesitancy to have them removed for good.
Andrea Lee, whose nickname is KBG, had just won a unanimous decision over Veronica Macedo at UFC Fight Night 129 on May 19. She has now won five consecutive matches and is seen as a rising star within the UFC.