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UFC's Dana White
Swears He's Got Your Back

UFC's Dana White
Swears He's Got Your Back

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Loud and admittedly foulmouthed UFC president Dana White created controversy last week when he referred to a reporter's source as a "faggot." He apologized once -- now he's trying to make nice again.

By now, even people who've never watched a bloody cage fight have probably heard about Dana White, the loud, unabashedly foulmouthed president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The 39-year-old face of the preeminent American mixed martial arts organization sparked his biggest controversy to date last week when he posted a profanity-laced video blog challenging a journalist who questioned the UFC's business practices. During a filthy three-minute rant heard 'round the virtual gay and sports worlds, White dismissed the reporter, Loretta Hunt, as a "dumb bitch" and referred to one of her anonymous sources as a "faggot."

Prompted by an inquiry from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, White apologized for his use of the f word the next day in a follow-up video blog. Although a peek into the gay blogosphere suggests that fans of his sweaty man-on-man spectacle have largely forgiven him, White insists that other media outlets continue to portray him unfairly as a gay basher, and so he contacted Advocate.com to explain himself once and for all.

"I honestly didn't know that that word was so offensive to the gay community," says White, who called on Wednesday from a stop in Hawaii. "It's good press, saying that I'm antigay and a gay basher. It's fun. That's a fun fucking headline. You know what I mean? That's how sick and fucking twisted the media is these days."

So while he may strongly dislike the journalism profession, the married father of three wants LGBT people to know he holds nothing against them.

"The one thing that I want to make clear here is that this isn't about getting the gay fans that might be mad to watch the UFC," he says. "I don't care if they don't watch UFC again. This isn't about that. I don't want people to think that I'm antigay or a gay basher, because I'm the furthest thing from it."

Meet Dana White. You might not agree with some of the things he says, but you should be relieved to know he's got your back.

After all, he swears on it.

Advocate.com:You already apologized for your use of the word "faggot" in a video blog last week. Why are you reaching out to Advocate.com now? Dana White: Because what's bothering me is everywhere else. Everybody that I'm friends with who is gay or lesbian supports me. I haven't heard anything. The only thing that's beaten to death and totally taken out of context is in the media. Every media source picks it up and basically it just becomes a sound bite. I said the word "faggot," and now everybody is saying that I'm a gay basher and antigay.

Why do you think that the media are driving this issue? Because that's exactly what the media is all about. That's what they do. Any little sound bite that they can grab on to, whether it's negative, or it's controversial. I'll give you an example: Probably two weeks before it happened, I received a humanitarian award in Washington, D.C. There were 550 people there: congressmen, senators, four- and five-star generals. Nobody reported that. Not one media outlet reported that. Nobody gives a shit. It's too positive.

Do you understand why some people in the gay community may have been upset with what you said? I don't know if they were. When I talked with GLAAD I had a great conversation with them, from the second we got on the phone to the second we got off. At the end of the day, I didn't have to go talk to GLAAD and make up some bullshit story about some corporate response to them. I called them up and said, "This is who I am. I know who I am. I know what I believe in, what I think, and I'm the furthest thing from antigay and a gay basher."

But you do understand how your language might have offended some people? Yes, well, here's the thing that you have to understand -- I'm an "average Joe" guy, and it's a word that I've used my entire life, not maliciously toward somebody, but joking around with my friends. Believe it or not, I am that ignorant, as is most of this country, that using that word offends people, and it hurts people's feelings. I'll tell you, I am not using that word anymore, that I can tell you.

Why did you use the f word at all then? I was talking about somebody who, man or woman, who refused to give their name in a story that was completely full of lies about our company. I used it toward the person, male or female, who didn't use their name. They wanted to remain anonymous.

So it had nothing to do with your perception of their sexual orientation and how you might feel about them because of it? Exactly.

Do you have gay people in your life whom you are close to, personally or professionally? Yes -- people whom I care about, whom I respect, who spend a lot of time around me.

You mentioned in the video blog apology that there are gay issues that concern you. Which ones specifically? First of all, these people that are saying that people shouldn't be allowed to be married, if it's a man and a man or a woman and woman. That's bullshit. Number two, if they can't get benefits just like any married couple. That's absolute bullshit. It doesn't matter who you're married to. If you're married, that person should get benefits. Those are two of the big ones.

Have you talked to any of the openly gay UFC fighters about this incident? No.

What experience, even anecdotally, do you have with gay audiences and UFC? Are they a sizable number? I honestly don't know the answer to your question. We've never done a study on that. Our demo is men ages 18-34, whether they're gay or straight. I [couldn't] care less. It doesn't matter.

Have you apologized to any other groups who might be offended by the video, such as women? No, I haven't heard anything from women. If it was a male reporter, I would have said something similar toward him. It had nothing to do with the gender of the person who wrote the article.

Have you spoken with Loretta Hunt, the journalist you attacked? No, I haven't talked to her and I don't have any plans to talk to her. Her story was just flat-out lies. She should get called out on this thing.

Are you aware of the impact that you have on young people as a role model and father? Yes, you know, obviously, at the end of the day, I openly admit that I swear a lot, and that's not going to change. But I would never, ever do anything to hurt anybody that's different. Whether it's your sexual orientation or your color or your religion. But I swear a lot.

Are you going to make any special efforts to rein in your language from now on I'm going to be as outspoken as I've ever been. But this is no bullshit. Honest to God, somebody used the word "faggot" around me the other day, and I said, "Don't even say that word around me, ever again. Ever."

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