Leslie Smith arrested protesting: I care about Black Lives Matter movement ‘way more than I do about anything else’
The former UFC bantamweight and current Bellator fighter has been a central figure in the fight for MMA labor rights, but at the moment she’s taking on a bigger cause.
“Just civil disobedience – they set a curfew, and then I decided to get arrested,” Smith said when asked about the events that led to her being detained. “But it was with four 18- to 20-year-old girls that I got arrested with, and I have so much faith in the future. They were awesome, they were wonderful, and I’m so happy and proud that this next generation is stepping up in ways that the past generations really haven’t.”
“I was out [from jail] pretty quickly,” she continued. “They said that they were not going to book us into the jail; they said that we were citation-only. They took their time, though. They put us inside of a van for a little while, then they transported us, then they left us there for a little while, and then they transported us to the jail, and then they left us there for a little while. It was about 2 o’clock [in the morning] when I got out.”
“I feel like the Black Lives Matter protests going on right now are the most important thing,” Smith admitted, when asked about her push for collective bargaining in MMA. “If I had to choose what do I care about in the whole wide world, if the last thing that I post on my Instagram is going to be this stamp of what do I care about if I were to die tomorrow, then I care a lot more about this national movement to protect black people and other people of color from police brutality in the United States. I care about that way more than I do about anything else.”