UFC president Dana White was forced to discuss a controversial and uncomfortable topic. While speaking to the media at the UFC 253 press conference on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, White was asked about Covington’s comments which included the former interim champ calling the Black Lives Matter movement “terrorists” and saying that Woodley hates America.
Rather than condemning the comments, White said that his fighters are allowed to speak their minds and that he did not see anything racist from Covington’s comments.
“These guys all have their own causes, things, they’re own beliefs,” White said, via MMAFighting.com. “We don’t muzzle anybody here. We let everybody speak their mind. I don’t know what he said that was racist. I don’t know if I heard anything racist that he said.”
After several fighters spoke out, Dana White addresses claims Colby Covington made racist remarks.
"We don’t muzzle anybody here. … I don’t know what he said that was racist."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) September 24, 2020
Covington’s initial comments came after his win over Woodley this past weekend and after he claimed to have received a phone call from Donald Trump.
“Who did you get a call from? Did you get a call from, freaking, your little tribe? Did they give you some smoke signals for you?” Covington asked. “You’re a joke, Marty Fakenewsman!”
The comments received immediate backlash on social media and from some of the UFC’s black fighters, but White doesn’t appear to concerned with any negative attention that may be directed at the promotion for Covington’s comments. However, at some point, White is going to have to draw the line on what is acceptable under his watch.