This story has been gaining a lot of steam around the forums over the past few days. Joe Brammer will be wearing a shirt from the company Hoelzer Reich at the TUF 10 finale. The shirt (pictured right) features several icons, such as the Iron Cross, that were used by the Nazis. Hoelzer Reich also uses many other symbols and images that are associated with Nazi culture.
We do not have any Political affiliations with any organizations. Our interest in German imagery comes strictly from a historical and ancestral standpoint. For many years, we have collected German memorabilia dating back to the early 1800’s, which has been passed through the family for generations. All of the German-inspired imagery used on our apparel dates back hundreds of years, and does not depict a certain time of German History.
However, certain aspect of the story just aren’t adding up. There is a lot of discussion over HR’s sponsorship of neo-nazi bands (such as Westwall, see the comment section for a discussion on this band and the ties to HR) and sponsoring fighters with neo-nazi tattoos (such as Niko Puhakka, featured on such classy sites as Skinhead Hate Crew). A thread over at the underground dives into the situation and points out some of the inconsistencies of the HR statements on their mission.
I’ve never been one to deny fighters the right to make a living and Lyle Beerbohm on the above linked Underground thread even discusses how important HR’s sponsorship was in his life. However, I can’t support any company’s right to sponsor an MMA event when they appear to have connections to things so deeply rooted in racism and hate.
Speaking personally, I hope the UFC steps in and prevents Brammer, and any other fighter from wearing Hoelzer Reich apparel at their events. If we’re going to see companies banned from sponsorship for putting money in Fedor and Dan Henderson’s pockets, I hope companies that put money in the pockets of hate groups receive the same treatment.
Update: For those just coming across the story here is a bit more on the above mentioned ties to the band West Wall:
West Wall is a neo-Nazi metal band led by the former leader of the neo-Nazi skinhead group Northern Hammerskins. Hoelzer Reich’s website contained photos of the band in their shirts which the brand explains as the band buying the shirts and mailing them photos which were then posted and removed once it was realized who they were. However, in an interview the lead singer of the band said that they were sponsored by the brand. Add that to the fact that up until recent days the label’s blog stated West Wall as their favorite band and the fact that HR’s myspace page featured a playlist of West Wall songs and it becomes hard to think that the posting of the band in HR shirts was a simple mistake.
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