ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A video posted to Jon Jones’ Instagram account shows what appears to be the UFC light heavyweight champion confronting people with spray cans during a protest in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
During the protests over George Floyd's death in Los Angeles and in other major cities in the U.S., some individuals used spray cans to paint messages and vandalize buildings. Jones, who appeared to be in New Mexico at the time the video was taken, was not pleased to see people carrying spray paint on the street.
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In the video, now viewed over 1.5 million times, a man, who appears to be Jones, amid the blares of several car horns, approaches two individuals and demands that they give him their spray cans.
“I didn’t do nothing,” one of the individuals can be heard saying.“Give me the spray can,” Jones says, before the person hands it over.
In the accompanying Instagram message, Jones shared a heartfelt plea regarding the recent vandalism and violence that has occurred during some of the Floyd protests.
“Is this s*** even about George Floyd anymore?” Why the f*** are you ... teenagers destroying our cities,“ Jones wrote.
“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,” Jones continues in his message. “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.”
Instagram users generally praised Jones’ message. Athletes who have also spoken out on the death of George Floyd include Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer who now faces a third-degree murder charge, knelt on his neck for an extended period of time. The other three Minneapolis police officers who took part in Floyd’s arrest have not been charged.
Floyd’s death occurred on May 25 but has since sparked riots and protests, ranging from peaceful to violent, across the United States. National Guard troops have been called in to major cities, with government leaders instituting mandatory curfews in efforts to preserve safety and stability.