As light heavyweight boxing champion Sergey Kovalev prepares to defend his title against Nadjib Mohammedi on HBO on July 25, the pay channel demands that he remove the words “Tulammo USA” from his boxing trunks.
Tulammo USA, a Round Rock, Texas, ammunition importer and distributor, sponsors Kovalev.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), “Kovalev has not made a public response” to HBO’s demands, but his ties to Tulammo are strong. “The fighter appeared at Tulammo’s SHOT Show booth this past January.”
HBO’s demands that “Tulammo USA” fall in line with what has become a growing media opposition to granting visibility to firearms and firearm-related products at sports venues. Breitbart News previously reported that the NFL denied Daniel Defense’s ability to purchase an advertisement during the 2014 Super Bowl, although the ill-fated ad focused on the importance of protecting families and did not even mention firearms. And NSSF points out that “FOX Sports Media Group banned advertisements featuring firearms and ammunition from its coverage of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events [in 2012].”
According to NSSF Senior VP Larry Keane:
TV networks are certainly free to decide what they broadcast, but the typical daily HBO fare of murder, mayhem and the glorified misuse of firearms suggests a certain degree of hypocrisy in HBO’s reported decision to ban the simple logo of a company that manufactures ammunition. It is strange that a media company such as HBO has decided to infringe on the First Amendment rights of the boxer and Tulammo by censoring what can be printed on a pair of trunks.
Keane says no one may know Kovalev’s response to HBO’s demands until his trunks become visible as he steps into the ring in Las Vegas this Saturday night.
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