TikTok influencer and food critic Keith Lee took to social media to defend himself after MMA fighter Sean Strickland accused him of making racist remarks during a conversation over a year ago.
Lee, 27, shared a four-minute clip to his TikTok account and explained his version of the pair’s conversation in the gym.
“I’ve received a week straight of false allegations, negative comments and negative backlash for something I didn’t do,” he said at the beginning of the clip.
Keith Speaks 💕 this is my one and only time addressing this entire situation and i hope and pray we can move forward as a whole 💕 God Is Amazing 🙏🏽 #foodcritic
He included footage from a July 15 episode of Strickland’s podcast, The Man Dance, where he talked about how much he hated Lee and claimed the Las Vegas native said, “I don’t like white people,” Atlanta Black Star reported.
Strickland, 32, said he was in the gym with Keith’s 30-year-old brother, Kevin Lee, when Keith allegedly initiated the conversation about race and “racial systematic oppression.”
Keith confirmed the pair had talked, but the exchange didn’t go the way he described in the podcast.
“Yes, me and Sean had a conversation. No, this conversation didn’t go anything how he depicted it,” Keith said. “Sean Strickland is an MMA fighter known to say divisive things.”
Keith said the topic was about race when he chimed in. He described the conversation as “intelligent and productive” until Strickland made remarks about having sex with Black women.
“Anytime you’re talking to somebody racist — and I know this because I used to be a little racist — anytime you’re talking to someone racist, and you want to really piss them off, you just got to talk about f**king the sex of the race of whatever they are,” Strickland said during the podcast.
He continued: “So I’m like, “Yo, Lee, I’m not racist. I’ve f**ked more Black women than you have, bro. How am I racist?” And I said that just to piss him off.”
Strickland also claimed Keith said he “didn’t like white people,” which the 27-year-old denied.
“Never at one point did I say I don’t like anybody. I simply disagreed with what he said. And instead of fighting ignorance with ignorance, I said, ‘No, I’m happily married with children, and I’m very proud of the family that God has allowed me to build,'” Keith said.
“I also immediately disagreed with all the ignorant and distasteful comments that he made, and I no longer was interested in entertaining the conversation, which… ended very shortly after that,” he added.
Strickland also called out Kevin and MMA fighter Jason Manly who reportedly stood silent as Keith made the alleged racist comment about white people, per the Daily Mail.
Keith reportedly called Kevin and Manly regarding the controversial exchange, stating they couldn’t remember him saying racist remarks during the conversation. He said he wanted to clear the situation with Strickland because it caused issues with him and his family.
“The only reason I’m responding to this at all is because it’s spinning into a narrative that’s completely false,” he said, adding the incident has affected him “financially and mentally.”
Meanwhile, Strickland said his podcast remarks were truthful: “I’m the most honest motherf**ker there is,” he said.