MMA fighter and football legend Herschel Walker teams up with QAnon celebrity Lin Wood

Herschel Walker appears to have teamed up with one of the far-right’s most infamous conspiracy theorists. The legendary former pro-football running back and Heisman…

By: Karim Zidan | 2 years ago
MMA fighter and football legend Herschel Walker teams up with QAnon celebrity Lin Wood
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Herschel Walker appears to have teamed up with one of the far-right’s most infamous conspiracy theorists.

The legendary former pro-football running back and Heisman trophy winner has reportedly joined the Board of Directors of a foundation operated by pro-Trump attorney turned QAnon celebrity Lin Wood. The news was announced by Wood on Telegram.

“I am honored to announce that Herschel has agreed this evening to join my 501(c)(4) foundation, #FightBack, as a member of the Board of Directors,” Wood wrote to his 802,000 followers on Wednesday. “Herschel loves God. He is my brother in Christ. Herschel is the real deal and he is a truth-giver.”

Wood, who first gained notoriety when he represented Richard Jewell, a security guard falsely accused of planting the bomb in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, has since reinvented himself as a pro-Trump advocate. Along with fellow attorney Sidney Powell, Wood filed lawsuits seeking to undo the 2020 presidential election results in several swing states, which made him a celebrity in the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement.

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Wood was permanently suspended from Twitter for claiming that the Capitol insurrection was “staged,” presumably, from his telling, by enemies of President Donald Trump. After Wood was banned from Twitter, he took his conspiracy narrative to Parler, an alternative social media platform popular among conservatives and the far-right, where he called for Pence to be executed by firing squad. Parler later removed the post.

Prior to becoming a QAnon mainstay, Wood founded the #FightBack foundation with a mission to “protect and defend the constitutional rights, livelihoods and property of people and businesses that are being targeted and destroyed.”

“We stand for the forgotten American – those who are silenced and intimidated,” read the foundation’s mission statement.

Wood’s foundation gained notoriety as part of the legal defense team for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with the fatal shooting of two people during an August 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The foundation also set up a fund to cover the legal fees, eventually amassing more the $2 million in donations. Wood, however, eventually shifted his attention away from the case in favor of trying to undo the presidential election results in Georgia.

Following a series of frivolous lawsuits and a constant stream of baseless conspiracy theories, including claims that Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, and Chief Justice John Roberts conspired to murder federal judges, Wood is facing potential disciplinary action from the State Bar of Georgia. Despite the countless controversies surrounding Wood, he was still seemingly able to secure a popular figure like Walker for his foundation.

“Herschel is aware of the many false attacks on me and my mental health by the State Bar of Georgia, the media, and others who do not stand for truth,” Wood wrote on Telegram. “Herschel told me that he would stand proudly side by side with me to fight the false accusations against me and work with me to insure honest elections and to defend our Constitution.”

Walker, an ardent Republican, supported former president Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and even spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention. As a Georgia native, he served as an honorary co-chair of former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler’s campaign.

Earlier this week, Walker was among a handful of dignitaries who spoke at a House Judiciary Committee meeting concerning legislation that would create a reparations committee. Walker argued against the bill, claiming that “atonement” was not the solution.

“Slavery ended over 130 years ago,” Walker said in his testimony. “How can a father ask his son to do prison time for a crime he committed?”

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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