Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White sat down with Sean Hannity on Monday night to discuss politics and professional sports, pointing out that in his opinion the two should be kept separate.
White is known for his bombastic opinions but when it comes to sports he’s more concerned that fans and athletes enjoy what they are viewing and participating in. He feels that politics should not intrude on a pastime that helps people escape their worries and troubles.
Hannity pointed out that ratings for ‘woke’ professional sports have cratered since star athletes such as L.A. Lakers forward LeBron James and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have decided to go political publicly.
“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 remarked. “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?”
(Video Credit: Fox News)
White stated in response that sports fans are not there for the 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.”
“[At UFC] we never talked about COVID or politics,” White declared. But he did comment that his athletes and staff have a right to express their opinions in 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 added.
White also lashed out at critics in the media, specifically the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper in Nevada. The outlet took a swipe at White while criticizing him for holding in-person sporting events during the pandemic. Their disclaimer read that exposure to COVID “may result in severe and permanent damage to the health of the [ticket] holder.”
He responded to the overt attack by telling them to “go f*** yourself” and then called the media outlet a “piece of s***.” White told Review-Journal’s reporters to not bother attending an upcoming July fight that will headline Irish martial artist Conor McGregor.
“People are done, people are done,” White commented. “They are done being told where they can go, what they can do. They are ready to get back out there and start enjoying their lives again.”
White then praised Jacksonville, FL Mayor Leonard Curry and Gov. Ron DeSantis for assisting the UFC in creating a safe environment for their fights during the pandemic.
Dana White: “People seem like they’re a lot happier down here in Florida than they are in some of these other f*cking states. Everybody’s doing their thing down here and living their life.” pic.twitter.com/CvIFzm7yTj
— LivePDDave 🇺🇸 🚨 🥊 (@LivePDDave1) April 25, 2021
He even went so far as to ask the Emirati Royal Family to create “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi last year to provide a virus-free environment for his fighters.
It should be noted that White endorsed former President Trump in 2016 and 2020. But he did so as a personal matter.
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