If you’re reading this, you might have some questions about Steven Seagal. Who is he? Why are people talking about him? Is he a Bond villain? Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. In part, Segal is a former stunt man and a veteran action-movie star, a 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, and the man who apparently accidentally broke Sean Connery‘s wrist while filming Never Say Never Again. He’s also an environmentalist, musician, entrepreneur, animal rights activist, and apparent reincarnate under Buddhist beliefs. However, Seagal is also notoriously difficult to work with, has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment, and, in unrelated trivia, holds Serbian and Russian citizenship in addition to his natural-born American rights.
It’s the latter citizenship–and Seagal’s admiration for Vladimir Putin–that have him in headlines again recently. (He’s banned from Ukraine due to his actions and beliefs posing a perceived threat to national security.) Oddly enough, the latest new story had nothing to do with Ukraine-Russia relations, but rather his position on NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he had the following to say (speaking from Moscow, by the way):
“I believe in free speech, I believe that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t agree that they should hold the United States of America or the world hostage by taking a venue where people are tuning in to watch a football game and imposing their political views.”
Make of that video what you will, but it reminded me of how often I used to watch Seagal movies as a kid. I wanted to bring that bit of really strange nostalgia to you in a series of GIFs and trivia from Seagal’s career, just so you can bask in the glory that is the action star’s declining sanity. Enjoy!