Image Credit: Evan Vucci/AP
Tonight, Dana White will deliver a speech in Washington, D.C. at the RNC for his friend, Donald Trump. It will be a continuation of support from “Uncle Dana” who did the same for Trump back in 2016 for his first Presidential run.
The speech comes on the heels of many high profile athletes protesting the latest example of police brutality with the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake was shot seven times in the back after reportedly breaking up a domestic issue and trying to enter his car. Kenosha Police officer, Rusten Sheskey is the offending officer and has been placed on administrative leave.
Since this happened during the week that President Trump is hosting his RNC campaign event, you would expect him to mention it but he has been noticeably silent.
Protests have erupted in Kenosha that turned violent and led to the death of two people by a young white man from Illinois named Kyle Rittenhouse. The pro-police and fervent Trump supporter attended the protests acting as an unofficial militiaman attempting to police the protests and eventually shot into the crowd with a semiautomatic rifle.
As a result, the sports world has taken action.
Sports x Activism
By Wednesday, the Lakers and Clippers had both decided as teams that they did not want to play any more playoff games.
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
The Milwaukee Bucks, who were in position to clinch their first-round playoff series, followed suit. Their home arena is a 40-minute drive from Kenosha. They never came out of their locker room.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets decided they wouldn’t play either and the WNBA postponed all of its scheduled games, with players posing on the court with t-shirts spelling Jacob Blake’s name on the front with seven bloodied bullet holes on the back.
The Dodgers’ game with the San Francisco Giants was postponed. So were the games between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.
And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This shit is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE https://t.co/cJxOj1EZ3H
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2020
Tennis star Naomi Osaka announced she would be withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open in New York in advance of her semifinal match Thursday. Now, the tournament has been postponed until Friday.
Major League Soccer also postponed its games. The NHL, however, only briefly paused for a “moment of reflection” before its scheduled games.
However, the UFC and MMA business has been silent throughout the entire protest movement that went global after the death of George Floyd.
Now, UFC president Dana White extends his support for Donald Trump and is holding an event this Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Big Problem With MMA
Mixed martial arts is a hotbed for the propaganda of Trumpism.
In fact, you can add combat sports in general with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Don King among those who have also expressed their support and stressed their friendship with Trump.
Like @POTUS @realDonaldTrump always says: Promises made. Promises kept. Pleasure to finally meet you Mr. President. Thank you for always putting America first! #maga #GreatAmericanWinningMachine 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/yYZWkdd5wS
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 2, 2018
However, the UFC is the leader with White making it cool to be affiliated with #45. Since, former UFC welterweight champion, “Chaos” Colby Covington has visited the White House and made the red MAGA hat his heel symbol.
Oh wow, you postponed your games?! Wanna prove you’re really about change? Quit your multi million dollar jobs and soft privileged lives playing a kids game, take a massive pay cut and perform the toughest job in America. Become cops!!!! @NBA @MLB @KingJames
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 27, 2020
Cuban-American journeyman turned star, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal was thrilled when Trump attended his breakout fight against Nate Diaz at Madison Square Garden at UFC 244 in late 2019. He was supposed to visit the President at the White House as well after winning the novelty “Baddest Mother F*&%ker” belt but has been delayed due tot he COVID-19 pandemic.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) August 25, 2020
Even heavyweight sensation, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis took the time to address Trump from the Octagon at UFC 244 in the post-fight interview.
.@TheDailyShow has become the $hit show. It’s like Alyssa Milano, don lemon, and Trevor Noah are all the same person #cancelculture needs to cancel these fools. I love America. Greatest country in the world #supernecessary
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) August 15, 2020
“Shout out to that boy Donald Trump. I know everything ain’t going so good in the White House, but you gotta turn that sh*t around in 2020.”
Trump is obviously a UFC fixture with only former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley publicly offering a dissenting opinion. Back in 2016, after the killing of Michael Brown in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, Woodley didn’t appreciate Trump’s characterizations of the police brutality.
“You ain’t never been to Ferguson and that’s where i’m from. He gotta keep Ferguson out his mouth so he can keep my fist out of his mouth.”
Woodley has been railed by UFC fans as a race baiter and is constantly the “bad guy” in any fight he enters. Ironically, he faces the MAGA faithful Covington on September 19th where he is billed as the B-side of the promotion.
Even little known UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann said in a 2011 interview about former President Barack Obama that , “someone’s got to knock some sense into that idiot. I just don’t like what Barack is doing. I know the healthcare situation is not good, but he’s making it worse.”
The comment got Volkmann a visit from the Secret Service.
There has been white supremacists admitted as licensed cornermen in the UFC ad never has Dana White checked his fighters for turning his organization into a circus for partisan politics.
Instead, he is silent on issues of social justice and racial unrest, even though like the NBA, WNBA, MLB and NFL, he thrives off the back of Black athletic talent.
If nobody else will say if then I will. Fuck Dana White. Especially in the climate and times of today? Right now? You’re honored to speak for “your buddy” Trump at the RNC? 🤦🏻♂️🤡
— BEN BALLER™ (@BENBALLER) August 26, 2020
When recently asked about how the public may perceive his speech at the RNC tonight, White sad to the media in his usual take no prisoners style:
“Listen, this is America,” White said. “Everybody has their own opinions and their own choices. I know that sometimes people go after you because of whatever, but everybody knows what I’m about. I don’t give a s—.
“The people that know me, know who I am and know what I’m about. Other than that, I [couldn’t] care less. There’s tons of guys that hate Trump, whether it’s celebrities or whatever, and I’m cool with all of them. We’re all cool.”
RNC lineup winners!
I just can’t.
— 🐾Angie K 💙🔬🧫 (@angie_keathly) August 23, 2020
Citing the transactional politics that have afforded Trump “friends” like Herschel Walker and more, White has praised Trump for the role he played in ushering sports companies and leagues back into business, after a coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
However, like the rest of Trump’s celebrity friends who never address the white nationalist leaning elephant in the room, White is preparing to risk it all by getting involved during a very bad time for sports.
The question that remains is, with him going counter-cultural to all the other major sports franchises, will you still support him and the UFC?