Liberal activist charged in Capitol riot was reportedly an Olympic hopeful, six-figure salesman

“He was doing amazing things with his life,” brother claims.

Updated: January 16, 2021 - 1:39pm

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A left-wing activist charged this week with participating in the deadly Capitol riot was reportedly an Olympic aspirant and a six-figure-earning successful salesman before becoming radicalized, according to the man's brother.

Writing at the Salt Lake Tribune, Robert Gehrke said he set out to explore the backstory of John Sullivan, a progressive Utah activist who this week was arrested and charged with taking part in the riot.

Sullivan’s brother has claimed that, prior to his political awakening, Sullivan “worked as a successful salesman … making more than $200,000 in some years,” Gehrke reported. The Utah man also reportedly “paid cash for a Mercedes and was building a house.”

“He was doing amazing things with his life,” his brother said, “and he came out and said capitalism is a cancer to Black society, when capitalism literally gave him the Mercedes and the house he was building.”

Sullivan was also aspiring to be in the Olympics, competing in speed-skating trials in 2018; he had also been featured in a 2016 Uber ad featuring Olympic hopefuls.

Sullivan reportedly drew the ire of local Utah Black Lives Matter activists for his alleged lack of devotion to those causes.

“This guy is a clout-chaser, someone who is only here for fame or money or someone who just needs attention,” one activist told the Tribune.