UFC fighter Jon Jones urged his fellow Albuquerque residents to go home when the overnight protests about George Floyd's murder turned violent. He tried to prevent the fires, vandalism and smashed windows but businesses sustained damage. In response, Jones headed into the streets on Monday and helped small businesses with their cleanup efforts.
Jones posted several videos and photos on Instagram Monday to let the community know that he would be helping out local businesses. He gathered a group of volunteers, and they headed downtown in a delivery van. These men spent the day boarding up windows, cleaning up broken glass and helping out however they could. They completed this work while wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while mingling with community members.
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"Lots of work to do out in the streets today men. If you're a real one, call your boys and get to work. #merica [bicep emoji] #Ziastrong," Jones wrote in his caption. He also posted videos on his Instagram Stories telling anyone in need to "hit him up" if they needed help.
"The champ! Just doing what a champion does. Much love," one Twitter user commented after watching the video. Many others showed support for the cleanup efforts, including retired two-time welterweight champion Matt Hughes. There were a few jokes about Jones' past legal issues, but the majority of responses were positive.
Prior to the cleanup, Jones expressed frustration with some of the protests in Albuquerque. He posted a video on Instagram showing him taking spray cans away from two masked teenagers. The two unidentified individuals said that they hadn't done anything yet, but Jones took the cans away to prevent any potential vandalism. He later posted a rant about the ongoing situation.
"Is this s— even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f— are you punk a— teenagers destroying our cities!?? [cursing emoji] As a young black man trust me I'm frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse. If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s—. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight," Jones posted on Instagram.
Jones told the Albuquerque residents to protect their city instead of causing destruction. Some people still did damage to the city during the overnight protests, so Jones tried to make a difference in a different way. He and his volunteers spent time cleaning up the city.