Dana White has come under fire for several controversies over the years. The most recent backlash was for defending UFC fighter Sean Strickland’s “freedom of speech” in anti-LGBTQ+ comments.
While appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, the titular host asked White about the controversy as he has also recently faced backlash over comments made by NFL star Aaron Rodgers.
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“When I said I didn’t believe in 95% of what he said, I was talking about 95% of what he said up there,” White said on the ESPN show about Strickland’s comments during the press conference earlier this year. “Obviously, the two girls that were in the co-main event, he said horrible things about them, which there’s no need for that. They’ve never done anything to him. But this is what he does.”
He continued, “At the end of the day, he’s entitled to his own opinion and he can say whatever he wants to say. You can agree with him or not agree with him but he’s allowed to say what he wants.”
McAfee noted that White’s relationship with the media was seemingly better, to which the UFC CEO said, “I wouldn’t say that.”
“I really haven’t been doing any media. I do podcasts, man,” White said while explaining that he likes to appear on shows like McAfee’s because “there’s no gotcha moments.”
White noted, “The two of the most hated people in this country right now are the politicians and the media,” prompting McAfee to ask if he was getting into politics as he has a close relationship with Donald Trump.
“I’m not,” he said about getting into politics. “Everybody thinks I am. My relationship with Trump is a 20-year relationship. I’ve been friends with this guy for 20 years, and when he shows up to the fights… The guy is a fight fan. He’s been a fight fan.”
White recalled that when he took over the UFC, “Venues didn’t want us,” and it was Trump who offered him the Trump Taj Mahal to host an event. The businessman said he has always had to play politics as every time he puts on a fight, the state governor has to approve it.
“People think I’m some like crazy conservative — I’m not,” he added. “I’m right down the middle and I’m for common sense. There’s lunatics on this side, and there’s lunatics on this side, and I’m right down the middle. I want common sense, and I’m done with all the bullsh**t.”
White continued, “I have aligned myself with people that I want to be with. I don’t care if a media member ever shows up to any of my events ever again. I could care less. I don’t care.”
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