UFC's Michael Chandler Addresses Viral Comments About Raising Black Kids

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UFC fighter Michael Chandler is addressing backlash he received over his comments about how he's raising his Black adoptive children.

The backlash stemmed from Chandler's April appearance on "The Shawn Ryan Show," where he explained his approach to parenting to his adopted sons, Hap, 7, and Ace, 2.

“I’m not raising black children, I’m raising children,” Chandler previously said.

“Whether you are Black or you are white, no matter what race that you are, there are certain things about being a man and being a good man when it comes to character and integrity and safeguarding the helpless and sticking up for those who need it,” he continued. “Being a good man, a good man of reputation, none of that has to do with skin color. Everything has to do with the character of the man. Probably not an answer that some people would say is important, but that’s where the world has gone.”

Many social media users criticized the fighter for his colorblind approach to raising Black children.

On Friday (June 7), Chandler clarified his previous comments about his parenting on "The Pivot" podcast.

“I think that soundbite obviously can be clipped … that little five seconds can be clipped, and of course, I would say, ‘Wait a second,’ but if you dive deeper into it, right, it was all about their skin color is not the most important thing about them,” Chandler told co-host Ryan Clark. “And maybe I’m wrong for saying that, maybe other people would disagree with me. The most important thing about a man is being a man and the virtues and the things and the characteristics about being a good man.”

Chandler said he plans on having conversations about race relations with his children later in life.

“Obviously, part of it, too, is if I would have done that interview and my sons were 14 and 11, it’s a little bit different,” Chandler said. “I’ve got a 2-year-old, and I’ve got a 7-year-old. So maybe that question being answered to me five years from now or … you know, my son Hap now is 7, so, we’re getting toward that direction, but he’s always just been a little kid, and then Ace is just a little kid. So there’s always the age-appropriate scenario.”

Clark shared a clip of his interview with Chandler, saying “As a Black man, I shared my thoughts with Mike in this conversation. I agree with him that skin color isn’t the most important thing about his babies. Still, many in this country see color. They see it first, & sometimes only. Michael & Brie exude love, but their children need to be prepared for the hate their skin color can elicit. I love that they don’t parent with fear, but as they grow awareness of racism & racial bias could save their lives.”

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