More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Dana White and UFC Need to Apologize
On Wednesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White unleashed a torrent of expletives, including an anti-gay slur, on his video blog hosted on YouTube. White was extremely angry over an article written by a journalist regarding the use of credentials at UFC events.
UFC, which is considered to be the largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization in the world, has become extremely popular in recent years, and the organization's fights and reality shows air regularly on Spike TV and pay-per-view.
In the video, White rants, "And here's a quote from a guy who wanted to remain anonymous because of fear of repercussions. Shut the f**k up. Any f**king guy who won't put his name on it. First of all, whoever gave you that quote is a pu**y and a f**king f**got and a f**king liar and everything else." Although White doesn't state the name of the article, based on the author's name and the content he most likely was referring to this article on the sherdog website.
White's remarks cross a line - it's unacceptable for an industry professional at his level to trade in these kinds of defamatory, anti-gay slurs. White knows the impact of words. Early in the video, he instructs his fighters not to curse on television. And yet, later in the video he goes on to do exactly that. He is also aware of the impact that he has. The UFC's - and White's - primary audience is 18 - 34 year old men, and based on his own remarks about how editors can tell a story so the audience cares, he understands just how influential the words that he chooses can be for his audience.
Furthermore, as the leader behind a billion dollar empire, White is fully aware of the reach of his remarks - with the help of investors, he acquired the UFC in 2001 for $2 million. In 2006, revenues from pay-per-view hit over $200 million and Time Magazine estimates that the company is worth $1 billion. White knows that the success of UFC is a result of the support of fans, gay and straight alike (the sport itself also includes openly gay athletes - last year, Shad Smith was profiled in The New York Times).
We've reached out to White and the UFC and are calling on them to apologize to his fans for using the slur, and to remove the video from his site. Check back here for updates as we get them.
Click below to watch the full video. White's rant starts at about the five minute mark.
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*UPDATE: The offending video has been removed from the UFC's YouTube Channel. However, GLAAD is still working to speak with officials at UFC for an apology.