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Renzo Grazie defends quoting Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler

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When a 2012 tweet from the BJJ legend resurfaced quoting the infamous head of the SS, Gracie doubled down on his claims of ignorance and his love of the message.

Road to the International Fight League Championship Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

A former staple in PRIDE’s early MMA events, and a pioneer of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the United States, Renzo Gracie is among one of BJJ and MMA’s most notable fighters turned coaches—having helped produce champions like Georges St-Pierre, Frankie Edgar, and Chris Weidman. He’s also slowly built a reputation for his ultra-right wing politics.

Gracie was named a “tourism ambassador” in 2019 by populist far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. A position that eventually resulted in his threatening to choke French president Emmanuel Macron. But, just as concerning as his willingness to play the role of political heavy is his seeming admiration for Nazi rhetoric.

Back in 2012, Gracie was called out by several people for quoting infamous SS leader and top-ranking Nazi official Heinrich Himmler. Afterward claiming that he didn’t know who the man was and that it was a mistake.

That original 2012 tweet, proclaiming “My honor is my loyalty,” recently resurfaced, however. And when it did, Gracie once again protested his ignorance. Although that ignorance didn’t seem to stretch so far as to stop him from using Nazi-ism as an opportunity to take another jab at Macron, France, and what he sees as a “soft generation” of people.

He also told followers he’d be working to get more educated on Himmler—thanking one person, and telling them that he was “gonna watch” the pro-Nazi propaganda video they linked to him, while also re-tweeting it to all his followers.

Gracie has since taken to his Twitter feed to defend his actions, noting that after quoting Himmler in 2012, he took pains to remove the sources from any future quotes he put on social media. And also seemingly calling Himmler a “coward” who “had the death he deserved.”

Whether or not Gracie is sympathetic to Himmler’s politics or actions, he certainly seems willing to cherry pick parts of his message and stand by them. And more than that, to broadcast those messages among his many many followers.