Dana White: If Roger Goodell Saw That Video, He Should Leave On His Own

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UFC President Dana White has never been one to let his feelings on basically any subject be known, so it’s no surprise that the polarizing executive chimed in to give his two cents on this week’s current hot topic, the release and suspension of former NFL running back Ray Rice after a shocking video of him knocking out his then-fiancée Janay surfaced online Monday (September 8, 2014).

White is no stranger to dealing with domestic violence cases, as UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva was embroiled in a scandal of his own earlier this year, one that resulted in his immediate release. But when no charges were brought up against Silva, White quickly changed his tune and re-signed the Brazilian slugger.

White knows that the devil is in the details for situations like this. He appeared on FOX Sports Live last night to discuss the touchy subject, noting that Rice’s seeming lack of remorse is what disturbed him most (quotes transcribed by MMA Fighting):

“It’s a tough one. First of all the video is horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. You’re talking about a guy who’s been in the fight business since he was 19 years old. It is the most disturbing thing you will ever see. The thing that’s just as bad as the punch is that he shows no remorse after he does it. You know, if you did something in anger and you go, ‘Oh my god. What did I do?’ There’s none of that with this guy. I don’t know all the ins and outs of what Roger Goodell did or knew or how it was handled but it’s definitely bad. I can tell you this: I wouldn’t want to be Roger Goodell.”

White moved on to discuss the difference between Rice’s case and that of Silva, choosing to focus on the fact that law enforcement has fully investigated his fighter’s case and decided there were no charges to legitimately pursue:

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“If you believe in the process, if you believe in the legal process, they came, [police] arrested him and he wasn’t brought up on any charges. Plus, I know a lot more of the story and what went on. If you take his side of the story, her side of the story, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but he went through the process and he wasn’t charged with anything. The guy should have the ability to make a living.

“If some tape surfaced like in this one [with Rice], but the police have already investigated this entire thing and they let the guy go.”

White, who is firmly criticized for going back on his words and doing on thing when he said another, was asked why Silva was let back into the UFC when the president had staunchly declared he would never fight for the UFC again. His words:

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“Well, when I said that there was a SWAT team outside of his house and he had allegedly done these things,” said White. “It wasn’t looking good for him. It wasn’t looking good for him at the time. He went through the process and he came away with no charges, so, you’ve got to bring the guy back.”

It’s a touchy spot to be in. With Silva’s wife allegedly vacating the United States for Brazil, there was simply no case to be had. Does he deserve to make a living? Yes, certainly; but he’s had his fair share of questionable incidents before that.

Regardless, his case pales in comparison to Rice’s, which now has NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell under extreme scrutiny for his supposed lack of action in this matter: White says he believes that if Goodell had prior knowledge of the video, he should just step down now:

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“I don’t know,” said White. “I have no idea. This is just so bad. The video is just so horrifying and so bad. I don’t know. It’s a tough one. If Roger Goodell saw that video, knew that that was what happened, knew that Ray Rice did that to his wife or his fiancee or whatever it is, he should just get up and leave on his own.”

With a full investigation of the NFL set to take place in the coming months, the truth will supposedly come out.

White knows what it’s like to deal with the all-too-familiar of domestic violence in sports, and it’s obvious that there is simply no place for it.

Does Silva’s case compare to that of Rice’s in that a lack of charges allows it to be swept under a rug, or should athletes be punished severely for even being involved in such heinous accusations.