Has Sean Strickland gone too far with ‘racist’ accusation aimed at Keith Lee?

TikTok star Keith Lee responds to Sean Strickland's accusation that Lee is racist.

By: Stephie Haynes | 2 months ago

Sean Strickland has been the living, breathing embodiment of a hot button topic for the last few years and as time marches on, so too does Sean’s penchant for being unfiltered, unapologetic, and problematic. In his most recent social snafu, he took aim at TikTok food reviewer and influencer Keith Lee, brother of UFC welterweight Kevin Lee. In a story he shared via his podcast, The Man Dance, with training partner and good friend Chris Curtis, Strickland accused Keith of being a racist.

June 29, 2022, LAS VEGAS, NV, LAS VEGAS, NV, United States: LAS VEGAS, NV - June 29: Sean Strickland meets with the press for media day at UFC Apex for UFC 276 - Adesanya vs Connonier - Media Day on June 29, 2022 in LAS VEGAS, NV, United States. LAS VEGAS, NV United States - ZUMAp175 20220629_zsa_p175_022 Copyright: xLouisxGrassex

In the words of Sean Strickland

According to the UFC middleweight contender, about a year ago, while at a gym where they were both training, Lee allegedly approached Sean and some others wanting to discuss the issue of racism. Sean called it “racial, systematic oppression shit” and went on to detail how Keith first accused him of being racist, so he decided the best way to handle the situation was to poke “fun” at the TikToker by saying “I’ve f—cked more black women than you have, so how am I racist?” and further pressing the issue, telling Lee, “Come on, I know you’ve got a little white woman at home.”

Strickland said that Lee responded by saying “No, f—ck that, I don’t even like white people.” As he sat there with Chris Curtis and their producer, he laid claim to the veracity of his story several times, “Gun to my head, true story. Chris was there.” Chris laughed and said that he wished he could remember the conversation.

In the words of Keith Lee

More than a week would go by before Keith Lee would respond, noting in his video rebuttal that he’d agonized over the decision to even reply, but felt that he had to. In the video, Keith denied the accusation and even went on to call—on video—two people from the gym that were present during the conversation. Both said they didn’t recall Lee ever expressing a dislike for white people. Keith would also note that his business had been affected, that he’d received countless racist responses under his videos, and that it had a negative effect on him and his family.

Keith Lee is most often praised for his integrity. Sean Strickland is widely known for going out of his way to be “brutally honest,” which often turns into him just being aggressively rude and divisive. But this time, in his quest for soundbites and attention, he’s forced real world problems on his target. Not one to allow himself to possibly exhibit any good will, Sean would tweet,

“I made a food critic upset… LMAO bro you eat cheetos for a living…. relax “I’m married to a beautiful black woman” yes and right before that you said “naa I don’t like white people” Again it doesn’t fucking matter… lmao keep eating your sushi.”

Lee says that he’s had to block over 1000 people and had to delete thousands of comments. He also stated that he was beginning to be adversely impacted financially, as well. For reference, Keith Lee has 13.5M followers and has several brand endorsements. His assessment of the situation comes across as fair and accurate. It stands to reason that the fallout from an accusation like that could be detrimental to his career.

Near the midpoint of Lee’s video, he stops to say, “I don’t have any ill will or bad feelings toward Sean Strickland” and as he wrapped up his reply, he noted that he just wanted to be able to return to the TikTok community he’d forged for himself, his safe haven. Hopefully, he finds peace there again.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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