West Hollywood celebrates Pride

UFC fighter Jeff Molina slammed the "hateful" backlash he received for wearing rainbow Pride Month shorts during a fight.

The mostly gray shorts had his name in rainbow font, prompting criticism from some fans who called him a "virtue signaller."

On Saturday (4 June), Molina was interviewed following his victory against Zhalgas Zhumagulov. At the same time, he denounced the trolls, saying "who the f**k cares" about what he decides to wear and that he thought the colours "looked cool" while also supporting "a good cause."

"I'll support anything of a community that's been oppressed and ostracised for some time for something they can't help. I'll get behind any of that," he said.

Molina added: "I just thought in 2022 people would be a little more open-minded and not pieces of s**t, but I guess I was wrong."

He chose his fight kit to help raise money for the LGBTQIA+ Center of Southern Nevada charity.

Sales from a special Pride Month t-shirt by UFC will also be going to the charity.

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Molina continued to note in the interview that people need to be "decent" human beings.

"Judging someone, and then trying to justify it with religion, and saying all sorts of spiteful, hateful s**t is crazy to me. It's mind-boggling," he said.

Molina's comments were welcomed and appreciated by fans.

One person on Twitter wrote: "How can you not love this guy? @jmolina_125, you nailed this! "Just be a decent human being." We need that more than ever!"

'How refreshing. Respect to Jeff for being outspoken about this. Need more people like him in this sport," another added.

A third wrote simply wrote: "Jeff Molina going viral today for all the right reasons. Well done, sir."

In recent years, some people in the sport have faced a backlash for making homophobic comments and posting transphobic memes online.

In September 2021, former UFC/MMA fighter and five-time world champion Jake Shields received backlash after posting a string of controversial tweets attempting to misgender transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin, who triumphed on her debut against Celine Provost.

"This is the 'woman' MMA fighter that they just allowed to beat up a girl in Florida.

"So brave of 'her' to transition then live 'her' dream of beating up women," he tweeted.

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