No one expects Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White to be one of those sensitive guys. There aren’t many Alan Alda types in the brutal sport that’s become incredibly popular in recent years.
But the mouthy White made himself and his sport look bad when he recently cut loose on Sherdog.com reporter Loretta Hunt, riddling her with more than three minutes of foul language after she wrote a story about UFC’s credential policies for fighter agents and managers.
Yeah, I know, you didn’t run out and read the piece that triggered White’s verbal barrage. And that’s one of the points of today’s
lesson. The sport is enormously popular: No one cares what the press thinks about. As long as no one uncovers a fixing scandal or something of a similarly serious nature, all publicity is good publicity.
So, then, isn’t White’s rhetorical spew also good publicity?
Not at all. In fact, it plays to a stereotype I have to believe the UFC would like to outgrow: that it’s a blood sport favored by violent,
woman-hating homophobes who have more money than class.
White’s remarks make him sound like a guy who isn’t confident enough in himself or his sport that he can contain himself when being buzzed by media gnats. Cutting loose that way makes him look small.
It also reflects poorly on the Fertitta brothers, who own the sport and have a much larger reputation at stake.
So the best thing for White to do is to issue a brief statement expressing his regret for talking like a bum from the cheap seats.
He’s already apologized for the anti-gay remark, and that’s a good start. He seems like a guy who is capable of criticizing without
generating a protest from women’s organizations.
I guess we’ll see.