- Dana White Speaks At UFC Vegas 67 Presser: To Face No Consequences Regarding Domestic Abuse
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Dana White Speaks At UFC Vegas 67 Presser: To Face No Consequences Regarding Domestic Abuse
We’re going to get back to the NFL Super Bowl Picks soon, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the comments Dana White made in his UFC Vegas 67 press conference.
Earlier this week, I wrote a story about how the media chose to cover the story of Dana White slapping his wife at a bar on New Year’s Eve. If you’ve been to busy to read that one, no worries–I don’t take it personally. It was just mostly about how this situation felt to be swept under the rug before it was even spotted on the ground. Neither the UFC nor Endeavor, the UFC’s parent company, spoke about the released video, and ESPN, the sole streamer of UFC events, failed to comment as well.
It took the UFC and Dana White eleven days to say something about it, and it all came to fruition at the UFC Vegas 67 press conference. White went on to talk about it in length, but was very apologetic from the jump.
"I'm sure you guys have seen the TMZ video [of the slap] and have seen my interview," White said in an opening statement. "It was obviously a horrible personal experience. There's no excuses for it. It's something I'm going to have to deal with and live with for the rest of my life. One thing I do want to clarify that I didn't talk about on TMZ because I didn't expect it and didn't see coming are the people that are defending me.
"There's never an excuse. I'm sure you guys have read some of the same stuff that I've seen. There's no defense for this and people should not be defending me over this thing, no matter what. All the criticism that I have received this week is 100 percent warranted and will receive in the future."
Once White opened up the conference to questions, John Morgan, an esteemed brown-noser of White and the UFC, asked him if he would face any consequences. White responded as such:
"Listen, we've had plenty of discussions internally with Ari [Emanuel, the Endeavor CEO], ESPN. Nobody's happy. Nobody's happy about this. Neither am I, but it happened and I have to deal with it. What is my punishment? You're my punishment. I've got to walk around for however long I live, whether it's 10.4 years or another 25 years and this is how I'm labeled now. My other punishment is I'm sure a lot of people, whether it be media, fighters, friends, acquaintances who had respect for me might not have respect for me now. There's a lot of things I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my life that are way more of a punishment than what, I take a 30-day, 60-day absence. That's not a punishment to me. The punishment is that I did it and now I have to deal with it."
Listen, Dana, it’s great that you understand what you did is wrong and that you’re making no excuses. However, your lack of punishment for your actions raises up some very important questions, like:
What are you going to do the next time a fighter does something like this? Will their punishment just be that they have to “deal with it” for the rest of their lives?
What message does this send to your employees and the fans?
Why do the rules bend for you?
To the UFC, to Endeavor, and to ESPN, I have to ask–how could you let this happen? Well, I’m going to answer my own question there, and all I need is one word: money.
It’s like when the NBA made Enes Kanter take off his “free Tibet” shoes. Or when LeBron told us to consider all sides of the story when it came to China’s oppressive rule over Hong Kong.
Money talks louder than even the loudest person in the room, and that makes it awfully hard to keep yelling.
Ariel Helwani of the MMA Hour, sponsored by DraftKings Sportsbook, said it best:
“It’s not on him to decide the punishment…”
“...This idea that we’re going to ask him to punish himself, or want to know what he thinks the punishment is, OR this justification that because I have to live with my actions that’s punishment enough doesn’t…doesn’t fly.”