Long before he became the most powerful man in mixed martial arts, UFC president Dana White was a boxing fan. On Tuesday during the "UFC Tonight" show on Fuel TV, White laid into superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
White called Mayweather racist for Mayweather's comments on Twitter about New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. He also blasted Mayweather for failing to sign to fight Manny Pacquiao and said a 50/50 purse split, as Pacquiao has demanded, is the most logical move.
Don't worry about what all these other guys are doing and shooting your big mouth off on Twitter. What you should worry about is getting in there and making the fight that all the boxing fans want to see. Get in there and fight Manny Pacquiao. You don't deserve more of the purse. If ever there were a fight in history that should be split 50/50, it's the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Shut up! Both of you split the money up and put on the fight that everybody, including me, wants to see.
Mayweather commented about Lin on his Twitter account on Feb. 13. He didn't really rip Lin, as numerous sites have alleged, but simply said that Lin is getting a lot of hype because of his race and that African-American players don't receive a comparable amount of hype.
As the controversy was beginning to die down, White stirred it up again by ripping Mayweather on a segment called, "Presidential Address." Fuel put White's face in what appeared to be the presidential seal for the commentary.
White also ripped Mayweather for 2010 comments that the WBC welterweight champion made about Pacquiao. His most incendiary words, though, were when he flat called Mayweather a racist.
First of all, what he said I think was racist. He's made a couple of racist comments and, yes, Floyd, you're racist with the stuff that you've said. First of all, Jeremy Lin gets all of this credit because he's an Asian player in the NBA that African Americans never get? Yeah. He's getting all this praise because he's an Asian guy playing in the NBA. You say that African Americans don't get it? Really, Kobe Bryant doesn't get any praise? Michael Jordan never got any praise? The list goes on and on of the guys who completely get praised for being great NBA basketball players. Not only can he compete and make it in the NBA, the guy is tearing it up and is breaking records, you knucklehead. OK?
White, who managed boxers in the 1990s, ended his tirade by telling Mayweather to "shut up and make the fight."
Yes, I run the UFC and all this stuff. I'm a boxing fan and I want to see this fight, too. I know that I speak for millions and millions of other people. Shut up and make the fight, Floyd.
Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's manager, didn't hold back when responding to White's comments.
"He needs to shut the [expletive] up and mind his own business, stay in his own lane and keep on taking advantage of the UFC fighters, while underpaying them," Ellerbe told Yahoo! Sports after learning of White's rant. "If he keeps on running his mouth, we may decide to give a free seminar to all of the UFC fighters on how the pay-per-view revenue should be distributed. This is typical Dana, who is always prone to ignorant outbursts. He should be the last person to try to judge someone else."
After learning of Ellerbe's response, White sent a text to Yahoo! Sports directed to Ellerbe.
"Just for the record, shut the [expletive] up [because] I wasn't talking to you," White said by text. "I was talking to Floyd. We're doing something amazing. We're building a sport while you guys are destroying one. "
So, do you think White has a point or is it, as Ellerbe said, just an ignorant outburst by someone sticking his nose where it doesn't belong?
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