A host of United States senators have called for UFC president, Dana White to be removed from his position with immediate effect, amid the release of footage of him striking his wife on multiple occasions during a physical altercation on New Year’s Eve last.
Dana White, the long-time president of the UFC was filmed engaging in a physical altercation on New Year’s Eve in Mexico at a nightclub, in which the former slaps his wife after a verbal back-and-forth.
Addressing the incident, Dana White admitted that he and his wife had been drinking heavily ahead of the physical altercation, stressed their concern for their children, as well as claiming he was embarrassed by the situation.
“My wife and I were out on Saturday night on New Year’s Eve, and unfortunately that’s what happened,” Dana White told TMZ during an interview addressing the altercation. “I’m one of the guys, you’ve heard me say for years, there’s never, ever an excuse for a guy to put his hands on a woman, and now here I am on TMZ talking about it. My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years, we’ve known each other since we were 12 years old.”
“We’ve obviously been through some sh*t together, we’ve got three kids and this is one of those situations that’s horrible. I’m embarrassed, but it’s also one of those situations that right now, we’re more concerned about our kids.”
“We have three kids and obviously since the video popped up, we’ve shown the kids the video,” Dana White said. “We’re more focused on our family right now. People are going to have opinions on this, and most of the people’s opinions would be right, especially in my case. You don’t put your hands on a woman ever. My wife and I love each other, we’ve been together for a very long time. We’ve known each other since we were very little, and this is just one of those unfortunate situations.”
In the time since, ESPN, partners of the UFC, as well as parent company, Endeavor have yet to comment on Dana White’s altercation with his wife – with the latter also denying to comment on the situation.
US senators call for Dana White’s removal from role as UFC president
In response to Endeavor’s silence, California State Senator Nancy Skinner wrote an open letter to Ari Emanuel, on behalf of 17 state senators and 32 Assemblywomen, urging the Endeavor CEO to remove Dana White from his “leadership role” in the UFC.
“In the days since the video was released, you have remained silent,” The letter reads. “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.”
“…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. Dana 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.” (Transcribed by Bloody Elbow)
The open letter penned to Endeavor CEO, Ari Emanuel can be viewed in its entirety, below.
Dear Mr. Emanuel,
We write with deep concern about the recent violent video we have seen online from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.) President Dana White. Our caucus, which is both bicameral and bipartisan, is composed of women across the State of California who are committed to creating better lives for women and girls. We care deeply about intimate partner violence, and we have seen how partner violence affects the lives of children and families. Most importantly, we are deeply aware of how impactful our actions are on the minds of young people, who learn from what we tolerate and what we condemn.
Given Mr. White’s previous remarks against domestic partner violence, we believed that Endeavor and the U.F.C. shared this commitment to safety, respect, and accountability. You yourself have written extensively about the need to speak out and act when we see things that are not in line with our values.
And yet, we have seen the video of U.F.C. President Dana White, where he strikes his wife at a New Year’s Eve celebration with a closed fist. We were appalled. It was alarming to say the least.
In the days since the video was released, you have remained silent. 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. Dana White as President of the U.F.C.
Every day that Mr. White’s actions go unaccounted for, your silence becomes more piercing and troubling. At this point, thousands of young men, women, and adults worldwide have seen the video of Mr. White striking his wife. We have also seen his apology. What we have not seen is any consequences for his actions.
As Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, the U.F.C.’s parent company, you have the authority to decide who leads the U.F.C., which is one of the world’s most watched sporting leagues, with millions of fans across the globe. Mr. White is not only the external face of the U.F.C., he is the leader who sets the expectations for the athletes as well. 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 U.F.C. 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.
Nancy Skinner, Chair
Senator, 7th District
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Vice Chair
Assemblymember, 4th District