MMA/UFC

California Legislative Women’s Caucus calls for ‘immediate removal’ of Dana White as UFC president

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California Legislative Women’s Caucus calls for ‘immediate removal’ of Dana White as UFC president
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

In a letter written to Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus is calling for the “immediate removal” of Dana White as the president of the UFC.

Earlier this month, a video was released that showed White and his wife Anne at a New Year’s Eve party in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Anne appeared to be in distress as the UFC leader grabbed her wrist, said something to her, before Anne slapped White, which immediately led to White retaliating with at least one clear slap of his own.

Since the incident became public, the UFC, Endeavor, and even Turner Sports — who will host White and the UFC’s new Power Slap League on TBS beginning on Jan. 18 — have declined to issue any comment on the situation.

In a letter posted online, the group expressed “deep concern” in regards to the video, as well as the non-response from all involved.

“In the days since the video was released, you have remained silent,” the letter states. “Your continued silence speaks volumes. As you once wrote: ‘Silence and inaction are not an option.’

“We agree — and we are urging you to take immediate action. Like you, we are people who live by our values.

“We, too, are people of action. We are allies against violence, advocates for women, and we are parents like yourself. This is why it is clear to us: we are calling for the immediate removal of Mr. White as President of the UFC.”

In a subsequent interview along with the release of the video with TMZ, White expressed embarrassment for the situation and said there were “no excuses,” while also accepting the fact that he would likely be chastised — admittedly, deservedly so — by the public. White has also said in the past that “you don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman” when reacting to the horrifying video involving Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée in 2014.

Another important piece from the advocacy group that causes concern is the potential hypocrisy. If a UFC athlete is involved in a domestic violence situation in the future, how can White be in any position to punish them if he, himself, does not face any punishment himself?

“Mr. White is not only the external face of the UFC, he is the leader who sets the expectations for the athletes as well,” said the letter. “He is the leader who has explained in years past that he stands firmly against domestic violence. If an athlete were to commit violence against their partner, Mr. White is the leader within UFC who will have to determine the consequence. The eyes of the world are on him and on Endeavor.

“The head of a major sporting organization cannot claim to be for the safety of women while a video of him striking his wife continues to circulate online without a response from you. The hypocrisy is astounding. Enough is enough. It is 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 of what Endeavor stands for and that violence against women is not a conduct that you condone.”

The letter was signed by Senator Nancy Skinner and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, the chair and vice chair of the group, respectively.

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