Dana White can’t keep his mouth shut about the criticism regarding his slow reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
The UFC was one of the slowest sports organizations to act as the pandemic became reality across the globe and White does not like people talking about that. He said in an Instagram Live session with fighter Kamaru Usman on Thursday night that some of the people who cover UFC are “the weakest, wimpiest people on Earth.”
The UFC held its event in Brazil on March 14 in front of an empty arena as every other major North American sports league had halted its events by then. After that, the organization postponed its next three events. White and the UFC were criticized heavily for that decision to hold the event in Brazil.
“Think about this: Go online and look at some of these people – and this isn’t a knock, this is just a fact: The weakest, wimpiest people on Earth cover the biggest, baddest sport on Earth,” White said. “What do you expect them to say? What do you think they’re gonna say?
“I have over 350 employees who work for me. Multi-billion-dollar companies are laying off all their employees right now. We haven’t laid off one person at the UFC. And every fighter that fights for me will fight three times this year. Our schedule will go on. Everybody’s gonna get paid, and we will figure this out, and we will be the first sport back on. And, uh, f--- that s---. Everything will go on.”
White wants to resume events as soon as possible
While UFC stars have significant endorsement income, there are many that rely on the money that they make from fights. And with no fights, well, it’s hard to make money fighting. White obviously wants to get events resumed as soon as possible for myriad reasons.
But that’s also easier said than done, especially if the UFC wants to be the “the first sport back on.” With a shortage of testing available in the United States, would the UFC be able to test every fighter before an event to ensure that no one was knowingly or unknowingly walking into the ring with COVID-19? What about the support staff for a fighter? They would have to be tested and take proper social-distancing protocols too. The same resumption questions that apply to stick-and-ball sports leagues apply to the UFC too, even as White says that UFC 249 on April 18 is a go even if it has to be on the moon.
White said in his Instagram Live the UFC is doing “the right things.” Whatever those right things are. And he also made sure to take some absurd shots at “the media” as well. I’m pretty sure there are media members who provide for their families and take care of others as well. But we shouldn’t let those facts get in the way.
“Listen, the media can talk as much s--- as they want,” White said. “They don’t feed families. They don’t take care of f------ people. They don’t have people that count on them. They don’t have people to support. We’re doing the right thing as far medical testing goes and everything. That’s all we f------ do. That’s nothing new. We were doing that s--- way before the coronavirus. We were taking care of people and making sure that everybody’s healthy, and every fighter that’s with me on the road is getting much better medical attention than they are at home – if they’re with me. You know what I mean?
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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