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Former UFC champ tells off FOX News for using child’s image in Antifa story

FOX News’ story on ANTIFA has annoyed a former UFC star.

Johny Hendricks when he fought Paul Costa at UFC 217.
Johny Hendricks when he fought Paul Costa at UFC 217.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Johny Hendricks lifted the UFC welterweight title with a win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 in 2014. The power-punching wrestler lost the belt in his first title defence, also against Lawler, by split position.

‘Big Rig’ continued on in the UFC for a couple of years before hanging up his gloves in 2017. We haven’t heard much from Hendricks since then. But recently, he hopped on Twitter to respond to an unusual incident involving his family and FOX News.

It appears as though, during a segment by Jesse Watters titled “Welcome to camp ANTIFA” the cable news channel used a stock photo which featured Hendricks’ young daughter as one of the models.

The picture was edited so that the tin can the model was originally holding looked like a grenade.

“Find another model!” wrote Hendricks. “She’s cute, but she loves cops. Her dad is one.” Hendricks also shared a picture of him, wearing his police uniform, alongside his daughter.

The report that used Hendricks’ daughter’s image was focused on Budding Roses free summer camp outside of Portland, OR. That camp advertises a curriculum that involves lesson on social justice and activism.

“Our camp activities talk about racism, gentrification, student activism, gender, climate change, and mental health – issues that Portland youth are already engaging with,” read a description on Budding Roses website. “We emphasize youth leadership and decision-making and take our campers seriously as members of our community.”

A number of right-wing commentators have used this summer camp’s curriculum to create salacious and attention-grabbing stories designed to scare and enrage people. Those stories claim, without evidence, that this camp is teaching children to use violence against police officers and other figures of authority.

Many of those commentators have labelled Budding Roses as an ‘Antifa Camp’.

Antifa is a decentralized anti-facist and anti-racist political movement. There is no single entity called Antifa, or any kind of organizational structure involving members who would call themselves Antifa. Instead, ‘Antifa’ is a rallying cry used by a multitude or groups, of various sizes, who are involved anti-facist and anti-racist political activism, including—but not limited to—protests, letter writing campaigns, community organizing and mutual aid.

Antifa has been a popular topic with right-wing, alt-right and far-right commentators at least since the election of President Donald Trump. Those individuals often characterize Antifa as a singular organization that is set on violence against conservatives and the state.

In 2020 investigators with the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Investigative Reporting failed to link any murders within the US over the past 25 years to anti-fascist activists. Those investigators discovered that over this same time-span there were 329 killings conducted by white supremacists and right-wing extremists.

When analyzing attacks in the US that were ‘left-wing’ and not specifically anti-fascist, those researchers found that 21 people had been killed since 2010. 117 people were killed since then as a result of right-wing attacks. The number of people killed in so-called right-wing attacks was higher than that of people killed as a result of attacks inspired by Islamic fundamentalism (95, with over half of those deaths occurring at the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in 2016).