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Arnold Sports Festival Responds To REDCON1 Withdrawal

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By Roger Lockridge

Aaron Singerman of REDCON1 recently shared a video that has caught a great deal of attention in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. In his video, he announced that his company would no longer sponsor the Arnold Classic or any of the Arnold Sports Festival events around the world. This would include the inaugural Arnold Sports UK event, which Muscle Insider has been previewing for the last few months. The video received a lot of attention on social media with many fitness celebrities commenting on the post, including Dana Linn Bailey, Robert Oberst, Cedric McMillan, Ben Pakulski, James “The Shed” Hollingshead, Dusty Hanshaw, Azaria Glam, Mark Anthony Wingson, Renaldo Gairy, Mark Dugdale and many more. Singerman’s video posted on YouTube can be seen below.

“It’s with a heavy heart and some genuine sadness, that REDCON1 has decided to discontinue any and all support for the Arnold Classic and the other Arnold related events around the world,” Singerman wrote in part. “We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars being a top sponsor of the event, and this year the exclusive sponsor of the webcast, but we can’t in good Conscience continue to support & be involved with someone who has such diametrically opposed beliefs. Anyone who says “screw your freedoms” is un-American, and REDCON1 is a patriotic pro-freedom brand. We support freedom of choice. We don’t want Arnold [Schwarzenegger] censored or cancelled. We just can’t support his opinion with our dollars.”

The end of the video also included Singerman stating that neither he, Kai Greene nor any of the REDCON1 athletes would be in Columbus, Ohio, for the Arnold Classic, either.

“I won’t be there unfortunately. So if you’re looking to see Kai Greene and the rest of the REDCON1 athletes and myself, unfortunately, you won’t.”

He has since done an Instagram Story post to clarify that all REDCON1 athletes are free to compete in the Arnold Classic or any other contest if they choose to. Redcon1 will just not have a booth there.In his video, Singerman included a clip of Schwarzenegger speaking on a video with Bianna Golodryga of CNN and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Alex Vindman. Part of that conversation included COVID-19 and Schwarzenegger advocating that people receive the vaccine, social distance and wear masks. Schwarzenegger shared a clip of the video calling for others to take responsibility and action on his own YouTube channel on August 11 with the title “With Freedom Comes Responsibility.” Schwarzenegger’s clip, also in its entirety, can be seen below.

“There is a virus here. It kills people, and the only way we can prevent it is to get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time. And not just to think ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No. Screw your freedom because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities. We just can’t go ‘I have te right to do X, Y, and Z.’ When you can affect other people, that is when you get serious.”

REDCON1 Is a Pro-Freedom Brand

We are huge fans of REDCON1 products and think Singerman is a very successful business leader. He’s made it very clear in his video that REDCON1 is a pro-freedom brand and that they support freedom of choice. And as a company, they are free to invest their advertising dollars anywhere they choose. That is one of the beautiful things about running your own business in America. So whether you agree or disagree with what Singerman said, whether or not you want to wear a mask or get vaccinated, this is a business issue and REDCON1 is free to advertise anywhere they feel it makes the most sense. Therefore, they won’t be at the Arnold Sports Festival, which is a loss for everyone.

Arnold Sports Festival Responds

Brian Powers, Executive Director of the Arnold Sports Festival, spoke with Muscle Insider in response to Singerman’s decision and post:

“The Arnold Classic is the world’s most prestigious bodybuilding competition, hosted by its greatest champion. It is an annual celebration of physique and strength sports and a safe place for fans to come together and to celebrate their passion for the sport they love. Invited athletes train for years in hopes of receiving an opportunity to compete on the main stage at the Arnold Classic, and we unreservedly reject any attempts to politicize, dilute, cheapen, curtail, or otherwise harm this once-in-a-lifetime experience for athletes.”

Powers then shared intentions to move forward with the goal of making this year’s contest a very successful one. “We wish Mr. Singerman the best, and we look forward to giving our fans and athletes a world class experience in September, as we have for decades.”

Masks & Vaccine Issues

The topic of the COVID-19 vaccine and wearing masks has been a hot button issue everywhere around the world for quite some time now. Advocates for the vaccine are calling for those not vaccinated to do so in order to protect themselves as well as others that may be in close proximity to them. Meanwhile, others feel that they should still maintain their freedom of choice to get vaccinated or wear a mask. Some feel that the issue has restricted their personal choices and refuse to take the vaccine altogether. Although the people on both sides of the debate are sticking to their convictions, the Arnold Classic as well as the Arnold Sports Festival as a whole has never taken a political stance on any issue. Of course, Singerman has the right to choose what he does with his sponsorship dollars, but it’s unfortunate that the debate between he and Schwarzenegger could not have continued without the Arnold Sports Festival being brought into it. Fans of Arnold, the Arnold Sports Festival and REDCON1 are now directly involved in this issue, which is unfortunate.

Nonetheless, a source close to Schwarzenegger himself confirms that they will move forward regardless, and they are confident that the Arnold Sports Festival and Arnold Classic will still be a success.

To be clear, there is no sponsorship issue with the Arnold Classic. We are appreciative of all of the companies and people that are working with us to support the athletes and fans that are looking forward to being in Columbus,” the source said. They also extended an offer for any of the REDCON1 athletes that would still like to take part in the Arnold Classic. “As always, Arnold will personally pay for the travel of athletes. If REDCON1 won’t support their efforts to compete in the Arnold Classic, we will make sure they have the chance to be onstage. This show isn’t political.” 

As Aaron Singerman has now made it clear that any REDCON1 athlete is free to compete in the Arnold Classic and any other contest, this is no longer going to be an issue. Muscle Insider will share more details on this story as they develop.

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