This past weekend should have been a flawlessly momentous one for the UFC. Three events went down over the course of three consecutive nights, and each produced at least one outcome that’s good for the company’s bottom line down the road.
Ass-kicking male model Sage Northcutt was again impressive in victory, and is someone the UFC will definitely be looking to for a future face of the company. Frankie Edgar knocked out Chad Mendes in the first round of their featherweight tilt, thereby opening up a little space in the division’s top five. And, holy crap, Saturday night — not only did Luke Rockhold defeat Chris Weidman to become the new middleweight champion, but all of the UFC front office’s dreams came true when Irish striker and license to print money Conor MacGregor KOd longtime champ Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to snatch the title.
It was a ridiculously successful weekend, and nothing should have been able to mar it.
And then Dana White had to go and open his mouth about something other than the business of his company. Via the Hill:
Dana White told TMZ Sports Friday he’ll be voting for Donald Trump.
White cited the Republican presidential frontrunner’s early support for UFC events, hosting the once-controversial mixed martial arts competitions at the Trump Taj Mahal when they were shunned by some state gaming commissions and venues.
“Not only did we host the events there, but he showed up and supported the events. You will never hear me say a negative thing about Donald Trump,” said White.
So, a few things.
Dana White is a cross between a giant thumb and a goomba from the Super Mario series, who calls female journalists “sweetheart,” wears $200 “vintage” T-shirts and tries to bully any media outlet not named ESPN, so his endorsement of a kindred spirit should come as no surprise on the surface. And while this doesn’t justify an endorsement for an office of this importance, I completely get the notion of wanting to support those who supported you in the past.
But here’s what’s going to stick in a lot of craws: the UFC employs a few hundred fighters from across a wide range of demographics, nationalities, ethnicities and religious persuasions.
Right now, their span of reigning champions includes a Polish woman, two black men, two Brazilians and an Irishman. A Mexican-American was their long-reigning heavyweight champion, and the fighter payroll is dotted with other Latino fighters. Perhaps most importantly, given recent events and ensuing comments by Trump, a practicing Sunni Muslim could very well become the UFC lightweight champion sometime before 2017.
Trump has repeatedly referred to Hispanics as thieves, rapists and criminals; he applauded his own supporters at a rally for assaulting a Black Lives Matter protester; he advocates creating a registry for all Muslims residing in America, which is totally not at all something directly inspired by the Hitler’s registry of the Jews during World War II. At an early national debate, he suggested that a female moderator’s difficult questions to him were inspired by her period.
Either Dana White’s endorsement of Trump is a mean-spirited invitation to his employees to kiss his ass, or he’s completely oblivious to the implications of his actions. Whether this is worse or not, I’m inclined to believe the latter.