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.
In case there was any question if he knew who Himmler was, here's him "learning" back in 2012. Also, a former Jackson-Wink coach approves. pic.twitter.com/5PhjGMfLmc— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 30, 2020
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.
it’s not my fault that your grandparents let them March through your country without a fight. That’s what produced your soft generation to vote in your president ce n'est pas de ma faute si vos grands-parents les ont laissés défiler dans votre pays sans combattre. Now you pay https://t.co/ht0t6a2iLR— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) June 30, 2020
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.
I’m gonna watch my brother... Thank you.. https://t.co/gLyroCQDQ5— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) June 30, 2020
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.”
A coward.... had the death that he deserved.. Like Judas Iscariotes.. https://t.co/TwXEGAVVbD— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) June 30, 2020
Pretending??? If you look the Twitter was in 2012 and I really didn’t know who that was.. after that Twitter I took all the names out of any post of quotes that I did... But you make it sound like I’m backing up.. Sorry I’m not. I didn’t know.. But I don’t apologize. https://t.co/nVTlLhUZ5X— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) June 30, 2020
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.
I cant get any better.... If I post what I have done this past week alone.. Then you would read real nasty comments.. For one reason alone.. Envy over other man’s good deeds hurt too much the envious heart. You can’t do it right with a bunch of whiners crying over everything ♂️ https://t.co/YhCDh5hKkE— Renzo_Gracie_BJJ (@RenzoGracieBJJ) June 30, 2020