UFC boss Dana White hailed as 'American visionary' for ban on talking 'about Covid or politics' in the ring
Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) showered praise on its president, Dana White, after he insisted that he strives to keep his sport free of politics for the enjoyment of his patrons.
Fox News star Sean Hannity noted to Dana White how leagues like the NBA and NFL had seen their ratings plummet after many of their stars, including LA Lakers forward LeBron James and ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, appeared to usher in a politically charged era in sports entertainment.
UFC's Dana White hires Best Buy security guard who was sacked for taking down Hawaii shoplifter in viral video
Why did Jake Paul offer $50M to Conor McGregor? Profane video sparks fury after he calls MMA legend's wife a ‘four’
"You look at the ratings of the finals in the NBA: 5.6 million viewers is a disaster... you look at what happened in Georgia with [MLB] when they had far more accessible voting laws than Joe Biden's state of Delaware," Hannity said. "If you look around the stadium, I don't care what the sport is, I see people of all backgrounds, all races, all coming together because they love and have to share a passion for that sport, right?"
In response, White said that most regular fans of professional sports don't follow them because of politics. "They don't want to hear that. They don't want to hear what your opinions are or who you're voting for what you're doing, they want to get away from everything in their life and they want to focus on two, three, four hours however long the sport is when you turned it on," he said. "[At UFC] we never talked about Covid or politics."
Meanwhile, White maintained that his athletes and staff are free to express themselves and their viewpoints during press conferences, etc. "We don't muzzle anybody but we keep politics out of the sport. If you want to listen to that stuff, turn on any other station, you will hear all of that stuff you want to hear. When you tune into UFC, you are there to see fights," he said.
White, who built the popular fight franchise from the ground up, also lashed out at his critics in the media. He particularly spoke out against the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, which appeared to criticize him for hosting in-person sporting events with a disclaimer that protects UFC against suits from people who may get infected with Covid-19 while in attendance at one of their matches.
On the other hand, White lauded the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, Leonard Curry, and Governor Ron DeSantis for working with the UFC to create a safe environment for hosting packed arenas in the face of the pandemic.
Netizens lavished praise on the UFC boss after he ranted against the naysayers.
"Dana White is a true American visionary. @ufc @danawhite," former acting director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell tweeted.
"I love how Dana White, UFC President, is so open about his Trump support and I'm yet to see loony leftists attack him or try to cancel him. They know they can't do sh** to him, so better they just move on," one supporter wrote.
"Dana White don't give af about what anyone says or does. Even if they step to him he will probably bitch slap one of those woke tards. He's basically just saying how we all feel," another added.
Dana White is a true American visionary. @ufc @danawhite— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 27, 2021
I love how Dana White, UFC President, is so open about his Trump support and I'm yet to see loony leftists attack him or try to cancel him. They know they can't to shit to him, so better they just move on.— BBC Supremacy 🦅 ♠️ (@BBCSupremacy69) April 27, 2021
Dana White don't give af about what anyone says or does. Even if they step to him he will probably bitch slap one of those woke tards. He's basically just saying how we all feel.— Samuel Anderson (@Gambacha1186) April 27, 2021