This just in: There is a burgeoning network of online “fascist fitness” groups focused on recruiting young men and radicalizing them with neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology. The recruits are roped in with exercise tips, and then exposed to far-right content.
MSNBC recently published an article on this troubling phenomenon, which is certainly worth reporting on. However, the network’s tweet makes it seem like right-wing extremists have co-opted the thirst trap.
And the gays won’t stand for that!
“The far right’s obsession with fitness is going digital,” the tweet reads.
In response to the article, a member of Gay Twitter issued a challenge to his 57,000+ followers: “QT this with a pic if you’re far left and obsessed with fitness, tryna see something.”
Almost immediately, gays started to flood our timelines with shirtless selfies and workout pics. There’s one for every occasion, including fighting fascism!
— officialhudsonyards (@realhudsonyards) July 10, 2023
— I’m Nerdcore (@ImNerdcore) July 10, 2023
— Rain City THICC????????? (@HeyRodneyy) July 11, 2023
As the MSNBC piece details, there’s a long history of far-right figures emphasizing physical fitness and the hyper-masculine tropes that go along with it. Adolf Hitler, for example, extolled the virtues of boxing and jujitsu in Mein Kampf.
These days, right-wing extremists in the U.S. are building their own fight-club culture. The leader of a Maryland skinhead group opened a gym for the specific purpose of “recruiting and training white supremacists in the mixed martial arts.”
Four members of a group called Rise Above Movement, which bills itself as the “premier MMA club of the alt-right,” pled guilty to charges stemming from the deadly 2017 riot in Charlottesville. RAM’s founder recently created a media company that was on the scene during the Jan. 6 Insurrection.
The far-right’s obsession with MMA isn’t surprising. In addition to the sport’s brutality, UFC president Dana White is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump.
53 year old UFC President Dana White ? pic.twitter.com/1VoIufQoKa
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) October 3, 2022
Former WWE chairman Vince McMahon, another long-time Trump loyalist, is also known for his bulging pecs and biceps… which he keeps showing off well into his 70s.
Its Vince McMahon’s Birthday today!
Perfect time to start a Shirtless Vince Thread! pic.twitter.com/0NQ1DjtHJ3
— Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast ? (@Matmenpodcast) August 24, 2020
In recent weeks, we’ve seen a deluge of toxically masculine billionaires (and one presidential candidate) show off their bods and challenge each other to fights. Most notably, Elon Musk, who tweeted in October he was fasting and taking Wegovy, a prescription drug used to curtail obesity, is intent on battling Meta founder Mark Zuckberberg in a cage match.
In response, Zuckerberg texted White, who confirmed Musk’s seriousness.
For weeks, Zuckerberg has been touting his #bodygoals, and announced he’s preparing for his MMA debut.
Just last month, Republican Oklahoma senator Markwayne Mullin challenged a well-known union boss to an MMA battle. Around the same time, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (who’s become a far-right favorite due to his embrace of conspiracy theories) shared photos and videos of himself pumping iron on Venice Beach… though many pointed out he actually wasn’t benching that much weight.
If this video purportedly of RFK JR is authentic, then he must have our support. No one lifting shirtless in sun with jeans, tuned up on TRT, would ever betray this great country.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 24, 2023
So you get the picture: the thirst trap, long the domain of gays looking for admiration, is now trendy among some loathsome figures.
Fortunately, at least one high-profile Democrat, New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman, showed that liberals have muscles, too.
Be sure to always center your health and well-being as we fight to save democracy and humanity.
3 reps of 405 and I’m ready to go! ?? pic.twitter.com/RSebNiXGDV
— Jamaal Bowman Ed.D. (@JamaalBowmanNY) July 6, 2023
But back to the gays. We are the masters of sweaty selfies, and don’t want anybody to forget it. Muscles look even better in good lightning, and we know how to find it!
Want proof? Scroll down for more of our best work…
— Sam the Werewolf ??? (@_jii_chan) July 10, 2023
— it’s chocolate (@nuccicoochie) July 10, 2023
— Luz (@LuzudMosigil) July 10, 2023
— Dylan Ward Cunningham (@theprincedylan) July 11, 2023
— AlphaleticJock (@AlphaleticJock) July 10, 2023
— Nike PS5 (@PS_AF1) July 11, 2023
— sumthing for the summertime (@sumgarf) July 10, 2023
— HTownRenaissance ?? (@HTownGay) July 10, 2023