We may still be waiting to hear what Ronda Rousey’s plans are regarding her future as a UFC fighter, but it looks like Ronda has more important things on her mind right now. Shortly after Donald Trump signed an executive order reviving the stalled Dakota Access pipeline that runs through the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, the former women’s bantamweight champion made an appearance there to show her support.
Outside of the controversial image she cultivates in the media spotlight, Ronda has raised a lot of money for various charities in the past (earning her spot #14 on last year’s 20 Most Charitable Athletes list) so we’re not surprised she’s putting her support behind the ‘Water Protectors’ at Standing Rock who are afraid the Dakota Access pipeline will contaminate their drinking water, which comes from the Missouri River. The pipeline was originally set to cross the Missouri at Bismark, but residents there successfully lobbied to have it moved citing the same concerns. For some mysterious reason, officials have been less willing to listen to the Sioux natives living at Standing Rock where the pipeline will now cross.
After months of standoffs between protesters and heavily militarized police, The Dakota Access pipeline was effectively shut down in December for at least a few years when the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the pipeline to cross the river until further environmental studies were made. But President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday bringing the pipeline project back to life.
This isn’t the first time Rousey and Trump have clashed. Back in the early days of his presidential run, he listed Ronda off as a supporter. Rousey responded by saying she was a Bernie Sanders supporter and “I wouldn’t vote for [Trump]. I just really wouldn’t trust the guy with running my country.”
That apparently irked Trump, who took the time following Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm last November to tweet “Glad to see that Ronda Rousey lost her championship fight last night. Was soundly beaten – not a nice person!” Since then, Rousey was featured in an animated music video from TOOL’s Maynard James Keenan battling a gigantic Trumpzilla monster. We imagine she approved of that message before allowing them to use her image.
Back to Standing Rock: things were already getting concerning safety wise back in December, with temperatures dropping below freezing and the police using water cannons on elderly protesters. Now that we’re right into the thick of the freezing North Dakota weather, it’s a concern that protests could quickly turn deadly. Fortunately, the protesters have a lot of high profile supporters like Ronda that are bringing in supplies and standing alongside them during this dangerous time.