Former NFL Athlete Calls out BAYC for Alleged “Racism” symbology

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is without a doubt one of the most popular and expensive NFT (non-fungible token) projects in the market. Collectors include A-list celebrities, such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Justin Beiber, etc. Nonetheless, the project has faced allegations of having racist and anti-semitic symbology embedded in them.

The latest individual to speak out against the Bored Ape collection is former NFT athlete Tony Robinson. Robinson claims to have invested over $300,000 into BAYC NFTs. He claimed that he had no idea about the alleged hidden symbology. Robinson stated that he will not support the collection until he hears from the founders.

What made the athlete come out against Bored Ape NFTs?

As mentioned above, the former NFL athlete is heavily invested in BAYC NFTs. But the change in his stance regarding the collection can be attributed to his discussion with Ryder Ripps, the latest guest on Robinson’s podcast. Ripps is an American artist, who has worked with industry heavyweights such as Kanye West, James Blake, Travis Scott, etc. Ripps is known for having called out Bored Ape creators, Yuga Labs, after allegations of racist symbology began floating online.

In June 2022, Ripps was sued by Bored Ape creators, Yuga Labs for his RR/BAYC project. The firm alleges that Ripps is organizing a “calculated, intentional, and willful” campaign to destroy the brand’s image.

Furthermore, allegations of Bored Ape Yacht Club including racist and anti-semitic symbology is not exclusive to Ripps. In August, the global hacktivist group, Anonymous, released a video saying that they would investigate the allegations.

Nonetheless, the allegations remain allegations as there is no hard evidence against Yuga Labs. The artworks remain subjective to interpretation, hence there is a lot of room for error. However, the allegations themselves are quite serious. Racist and anti-semitic remarks and symbology do not sit well with investor sentiment. If proven intentional, it would reflect disastrously on the company.