A Climate Protester Just Set Himself On Fire

An environmental activist accidentally set his arm on fire during a protest in London.

By Chad Langen | Published

A climate change protestor caught some serious heat, literally, when he unintentionally set himself on fire during a recent tennis match. According to Deadline, the activist started a small fire on the court and accidentally set his own arm ablaze. The incident took place in London during Day 1 of the Laver Cup tennis exhibition, just days after the globally televised funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

During a break in the match-up between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman, the protestor shocked onlookers when he made his way onto the court at the O2 Arena and ignited a small puddle of flammable liquid on the ground, setting his right arm on fire in the process. After putting out the flame on his arm, he continued to sit on the court while security rushed toward him.

protestor fire

Prior to the dramatic display, Team Europe’s Tsitsipas was leading the match. Play was briefly halted at the change of ends after the protestor managed to get on the court. Security staff stamped out the fire and removed the activist from the court.

The protestor was wearing jeans and a white shirt with large black letters that read “End UK Private Jets.” A website under the same name identified the man as a 20-year-old named Kai. After being removed from the court, he was temporarily held by security guards in a hallway near the court entrance.  

Metropolitan Police arrested the protestor on suspicion of aggravated trespass. Although he did not appear to have suffered any significant injuries as a result of his arm being on fire, the activist was transferred to a hospital as a precaution. At this time, it’s unknown if he’s currently being hospitalized.

There are conflicting reports as to what actually took place at the arena. Some outlets have claimed the protestor setting his arm on fire was accidental, while others are saying it was premeditated. A tweet from @EndUKPrivateJet account shared a photo of the incident, and the name of the Twitter account matches the words on the activist’s shirt.

According to The Guardian, the protestor set his arm ablaze before the fire was ignited on the court. In addition, they’re convinced the activist represents Sacrifice of Survival, which is a climate emergency protest initiative that’s seen activists set themselves on fire every day in an attempt to stop flights between locations inside the United Kingdom. Talk about being dedicated to a cause.

While the protestor at the O2 arena didn’t sustain any serious injuries while making his statement, a Colorado man died earlier this year after setting himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court. In an apparent Earth Day protest, 50-year-old Wynn Bruce engulfed himself in flames. He was airlifted to a hospital following the incident, and he died the following day due to his injuries.

After spectators witnessed the shocking display of the protestor setting himself on fire, the match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman went on without another hitch. Tsitsipas finished out the evening with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Schwartzman. The tennis match is undoubtedly one that will be talked about for quite some time.