UFC President Dana White was seen slapping his wife in grainy nightclub footage that emerged late last week from Cabo. The “embarrassed” Las Vegas fight boss was quick to apologize for his actions and blamed the incident on a night of heavy drinking and heavy partying.
That was the last person heard about it and it appears the UFC and its parent company Endeavor have no plans to respond to it further or announce any disciplinary action. White — who once called a reporter a “dumb bitch” — has been president of the UFC since 2001.
“There is a danger of having a double standard, where athletes are held accountable for acts of domestic violence and landlords are not,” said Liz Roberts, CEO of victims’ aid organization Safe Horizon. , to Variety. “There has to be some accountability here, and that sets a consistent standard. It’s time to really stand up and say, ‘No, that’s not what we’re doing anymore.’
In addition to running the UFC, which helped Endeavor turn a profit, White is also the figurehead of the new Power Slap league which airs later this month on TBS. The promotion centers around contestants slapping each other until one of them is no longer fit to compete.
The California Legislative Women’s Caucus recently wrote a letter to Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel calling for immediate action. The bipartisan group consists of 17 state senators and 32 women in the States Assembly, including Senator Nancy Skinner (chair) and Congresswoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (vice-chair).
Here’s a quick snippet:
Every day that Mr. White’s actions go unnoticed, your silence becomes more piercing and disturbing. At this point, thousands of young men, women and adults around the world have seen the video of Mr. White hitting his wife. We have also seen his apologies. What we haven’t seen are the consequences of his actions.
The boss of a major sports organization can’t claim to be for women’s safety as a video of him punching his wife continues to circulate online with no response from you. The hypocrisy is astounding. Enough is enough. It’s time to remove Mr. White from his leadership role, to allow him and his partner to get the help they need while reminding the world what Endeavor stands for and that violence against the women is not conduct you condone.
Read the full letter here.
White has taken a hardline stance against UFC fighters with histories of domestic violence, with a few exceptions, but doesn’t seem to hold himself to his own standard. As a result, Endeavor has come under fire in recent days for ignoring the issue in what mainstream media claims is a planned strategy to “let the flame go out”.
As of this writing, Endeavor has yet to comment.
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