Holloway, Macfarlane weigh in on Mauna Kea protests

Flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane joins Thirty Meter Telescope protests at Mauna Kea

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway represent Hawaii each time they step into the cage to fight, but now they’re fighting a different battle all together.

Macfarlane, despite currently residing in San Diego, traveled home to the islands this weekend to join protesters at Mauna Kea on the Big Island in their peaceful protest against the construction of the heavily-debated Thirty-Meter Telescope.

Holloway, who fights this Saturday at UFC 239 against Frankie Edgar, is currently in Canada for fight week. However, that didn’t stop him from sending a message of peace and solidarity with those protesting against TMT in Hawaii on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

TMT. Many of you have been asking me to post about it. I’m in Canada now for my fight this weekend and honestly because I live in Hawaii just making a post felt disrespectful to everyone on all sides actually working on this situation every day. It felt disrespectful to the kupunas who got arrested. It felt disrespectful to the officers just trying to do their jobs to feed their families. I know I owe everyone in Hawaii more than a post. I’m not a politician, legislator, not a research scientist, astronomer. Right now I’m just a dad and martial artist. But the one thing I can tell you about fighting for a living my whole damn life is don’t do it. Fighting ain’t it. It makes me very proud Pu’uhonua o Pu’u Huluhulu has committed to non-violence. But when I see a lot of us on all sides saying crazy things on social media, the name calling, vulgar language makes me sad. Nobody is trying to sell PPVs to Mauna Kea, so the trash talk won’t help any side. This situation is about everyone in Hawaii now. We all have a voice and the whole world is watching. But they aren’t going to watch forever and when the world moves on, and trust me they will, all of us are still neighbors. Our kids are still going to be going to school together, we’re gonna run into each other at Zippy’s, we’re gonna wait in line together for fresh poke at Fooodland. It is what it is. We can all do better and we need to for our kids. As a father I want to be able to share the news with Rush without being afraid of him seeing vulgar comments. I regret not taking the time to learn more about TMT in 2014 when arrests were made. Maybe legislation at that time could’ve helped prevent this from getting to this point. I don’t know. I’m sorry and as a Native Hawaiian I’m committing to doing better, to helping all of us more moving forward to find solutions. Over the last week my team and I have reached out to learn more, and we’ve talked to Kaho’okahi, friends and family on the Mauna, DNLR, and one of the directors of the observatories. I’ll always be here to fight for peaceful conversation any way I can.

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Today marked the ninth day of protests at Mauna Kea.

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