UFC boss Dana White speaks out on protests and police brutality
The tragic murder of unarmed African-American George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has sparked a series of protests around the United States, and all around the globe. A worldwide demand for change, and an end so systemic racism and police brutality has been echoed by protesters. While the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, there has been violent clashes with the police and also vandalism and looting. With the United States in a tough period, UFC president Dana White was recently asked for his take on the protests and police brutality.
Speaking to AZcentral, White explained that he has spoken with his own employees about what changes can be made.
“I’ve had talks with some of my African-American fighters about this: How do we make real change? For me, personally, making real change is so much bigger than marching and protesting and all of these other things.
This might be a stupid example, but it’s the best example I can give you: I believed in the UFC. I believed in the sport of mixed-martial arts. I got together with a couple buddies of mine, and we bought the UFC, and we started to build this thing. We went out, and we hit the bricks. We went to every sports editor. Every network. You name it. We shared our vision and grew our movement.”
“With the current protests, there needs to be somebody to lead the charge. Somebody who can go in and make real change. By that I mean changing laws. Getting in and figuring out ‘how do we train the police department better?’ There’s so many things like that.
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“It’s like when I wanted to come back and have fights in the pandemic. I could have gotten all 350 of my employees, and we could have walked up and down the street and chanted ‘we wanna fight!’ That’s not what we did. We got out and told our story in the media and worked with politicians. That’s how you make real change.”
White also explained that he feels there needs to be a longtime goal, and that the protests can’t be the end of it.
“You’ve got to get somebody really smart and articulate who won’t back down to certain road blocks that they will hit. Because there will be road blocks and obstacles.” Dana White explained. “Anything in life that’s worth fighting for, that you really wanna change, you’ve got to be able to get through the obstacles, the pressure, cut through all the bulls**t and get right to the heart of the matter where you need to start changing laws, educating people, training police officers. There’s lot of work to do.”
Currently UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has taken to the streets of Albuquerque, helping his community and deterring vandalism and theft. Conor McGregor took a stand against racism in a post on social media, and several fighters have expressed their feelings on the matter. At this weekend’s UFC event, Aljamain Sterling and Devin Clark were among the fighters the voiced support for protesters around the world.