- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2020

ESPN’s Max Kellerman jumped to the defense of “Black Lives Matter” on Tuesday with claims of “right-wing agitators posing as protesters” in response to comments by UFC star Colby Covington.

The liberal “First Take” co-host took issue with Mr. Covington’s criticism of Black Lives Matter as a Marxist, anti-cop organization that is harmful for the nation.

“First of all, a few of the things he said when he talks about like Black Lives Matter — 93 percent of the protests are peaceful,” Mr. Kellerman said, echoing the phraseology used by “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, and CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez during BLM coverage.

Mr. Kellerman’s stance coincides with a recent Axios report, which estimates between $1 billion to $2 billion in insurance claims linked to Black Lives Matter activism.

“The vast, overwhelming majority [of BLM gatherings] are peaceful,” the sports analyst continued. “And by the way, the seven percent that are not, they have a very broad definition of what’s not quote, unquote ‘peaceful.’ Like, if you block traffic or something like that. Or if you respond to police provocation. And even then, a big percentage of that that wasn’t peaceful is actually extremist right-wing agitators posing as protesters in order to make the protests look bad.”

At issue, specifically, is Mr. Covington’s call-out of “woke athletes” on Saturday after his dominant victory over opponent Tyron Woodley (an outspoken BLM supporter) at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Mr. Covington dedicated his fifth-round TKO to cops and first responders.

“You keep us safe and not these woke athletes, man,” the MMA fighter said. “I’m sick of these woke athletes and spineless cowards like [NBA star/activist] LeBron James.”

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