It’s Dana White, Not Dana Black

By Robert Ecksel on February 22, 2012
It’s Dana White, Not Dana Black
Only a fool would expect Dana White's oratory to be commensurate with his yearly gross

UFC honcho Dana White is a hard guy to pin down. He says he loves boxing, but thinks nothing of trashing the sport when it serves his ends. He’s had public spats with certain boxing promoters, and the shreds of truth on which he bases his arguments succeed more in shredding boxing than the promoters he’s got it out for.  White says he loves boxers, yet eagerly gives has-beens who should be preparing their Hall of Fame acceptance speeches an opportunity to get beaten in a cage in a sport they know nothing about.

The man may be an enigma, or he may be an egomaniac. Take your pick. In any event, in some ways he’s MMA’s answer to wrestling’s Vince McMahon and boxing’s Don King, the ultimate carnival barker, the guy in center ring wearing a top hat and knee-high boots, carrying a bullwhip and megaphone to make grandiose claims about the greatest show on earth.

Fortunately, the earth has four corners and not three, so White can have his corner and praise and/or damn whatever and whoever he wants to his heart’s content, while the other corners remain unmolested.

The latest tempest in a teapot that Mr. UFC as injected himself into involves Floyd Mayweather and his less-than-sensitive remarks about the New York Knicks legend du jour Jeremy Lin. There’s no need to insert Lin’s b-ball numbers into this argument. He’s done a fine job doing the job he’s paid to do, and several journos and announcers, who unlike Lin didn’t go to Harvard, ended up with egg, or egg fu yung if you will, on their self-satisfied, smirking countenances.

And now Dana White steps into the fray. His racial sensitivity, if that’s what it is, is something to be admired. His sticking his nose in another sport’s business is not.

In what he humbly calls the Presidential Address, White decided it was time to act presidential and address Mayweather’s comments concerning Jeremy Lin and that other Asian so dear to our hearts, Manny Pacquiao. Choosing his words with the care of an arsonist holding a can of petrol and a blowtorch, he called Money May a “racist” and told him to “shut up and make the [Pacquiao] fight.”

“Don’t worry about what all these other guys are doing and shooting your big mouth off on Twitter,” said White.” What you should worry about is getting in there and making the fight that all the boxing fans want to see. Get in there and fight Manny Pacquiao. You don’t deserve more of the purse. If ever there were a fight in history that should be split 50/50, it’s the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Shut up! Both of you split the money up and put on the fight that everybody, including me, wants to see.”

It’s not what White says that’s so ugly. It’s the way he says it. No one expects his oratory to be commensurate with his yearly gross. But he’s always so ornery that he deflates rather than elevates every discussion whenever he opens his mouth.

“First of all,” White continued, “what he said I think was racist. He’s made a couple of racist comments and, yes, Floyd, you’re racist with the stuff that you’ve said. First of all, Jeremy Lin gets all of this credit because he’s an Asian player in the NBA that African Americans never get? Yeah. He’s getting all this praise because he’s an Asian guy playing in the NBA. You say that African Americans don’t get it? Really, Kobe Bryant doesn’t get any praise? Michael Jordan never got any praise? The list goes on and on of the guys who completely get praised for being great NBA basketball players. Not only can he compete and make it in the NBA, the guy is tearing it up and is breaking records, you knucklehead. OK?”

I’m sure Floyd pays as much attention to Dana White as he pays attention to nuclear fission. But White’s remarks, sharp as a stiletto in a gang fight, have, as usual, less to do with Mayweather than they have to do with Dana White.

The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

Money May may be doing whatever he’s does to keep himself entertained in the Big Boi Mansion. But Team Mayweather, in the person of Leonard Ellerbe, wasn’t about to take Dana White’s assertions lying down.

No expert at the fine art of locution himself, Ellerbe told Yahoo! Sports, “He needs to shut the f-ck up and mind his own business, stay in his own lane and keep on taking advantage of the UFC fighters, while underpaying them.

“If he keeps on running his mouth, we may decide to give a free seminar to all of the UFC fighters on how the pay-per-view revenue should be distributed. This is typical Dana, who is always prone to ignorant outbursts. He should be the last person to try to judge someone else.”

I’m as looking forward to the “free seminar” as I’m looking forward to Money May’s next free fight.

White, who wasn’t expecting valentine (that was last week) in response to his incendiary remarks, acted as though he had received an envelope tinged with anthrax.

“Just for the record,” responded White, “shut the f-ck up. I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Floyd. We’re doing something amazing. We’re building a sport while you guys are destroying one.”

To each his own opinion. Fortunately, we’re free to choose sides—if one can find a side worth choosing.

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  1. Jrace 08:00pm, 02/27/2012

    @Gajjers Haha thanks and Your very welcome sir. I understand we all have different points of views and respect that. Whatever happened to disagreeing agreeably right? Well I must admit as a amateur boxer and fight fan I honestly think that mayweather would beat Pacquiao by outboxing him to a decision but who knows. I just want mayweather to prove what he says about being the best and give his fans who helped make him rich the fight everyone wants to see.

  2. Gajjers 06:26pm, 02/27/2012

    @Jrace - Thanks for your gentlemanly reply (hey, Floyd could learn a thing or two from you too). I must admit though - a good few years ago, I stopped trying to give Mayweather a pass for each faux pas he displayed; the required hypocrisy in my efforts became a bit too embarrassing, even for my subconscious. I’ve since learned to both admire his ring mastery & smother my aversion for his less-than-savory extra-curricular antics (I still cringe at his ‘spraying-Benjamins-at-the-camera’ stunts, though). Can’t say for sure, but he seems to be impervious to the ire he generates in many a fan, but a cursory glance at a couple of his male relatives (you know which ones) only reinforces my suspicion that both nature & nurture had equal input in his current professional & personal makeups. I’m pretty sure Pacquiao at times wishes he had a different dance partner to carve out a lasting legacy with, but hey, life’s funny like that sometimes. One more thing - knowing human nature, I can guarantee that more people than you would guess, could say (& probably have said) a few bad things about Pacman. There’s no telling with us humans, you know?

  3. jrace 01:17pm, 02/27/2012

    @Gajjers Thanks for the response It was well put. And you are right the majority of people will be watching the fight to see mayweather. But it’s only to watch him lose. Mayweather has shown that he is a supreme athlete but it takes more than that to gain fans. He has shown the world his classless persona in and out of the ring. I guarantee you that pac-man has much more loyal fans world wide. Who can say anything bad about the guy? Yes 50/50 should be a given.

  4. Gajjers 03:01pm, 02/26/2012

    @Jrace - “...the majority of people who actually will buy the ppv are paying to watch mayweather…”. That, in a nutshell, debunks the rest of your comment. The bottom line precludes GOOD or MORAL reasons, no? Any media professional worth his or her salt would tell you that bad news sells at least as well as good news… I actually agree with Dana’s take of 50-50.

  5. Jrace 02:22pm, 02/26/2012

    Mayweather should get 40% and Paquio 60% because the majority of people who actually will buy the ppv are paying to watch Mayweather get his ass kicked. Mayweather fans won’t be able to order the fight using their EBT…

  6. the thresher 03:55pm, 02/24/2012

    I don’t care for MMA, but I get it and respect White for doing what he did. I’d rather watch boxing. MMA is much like a street fight where one punch can end matters. Fan-friendly? Maybe. Dangerous? I think so. 

    Heck, where does sport end and blood sport begin?

  7. Quami Simmonds 02:28pm, 02/24/2012

    I dont agree with White often but he’s right about manny and floyd spiltting that purse 50/50, I cant believe floyd had the nerve to not make the fight happen because he wanted more than 50 when he really deserves only 40 since he doesnt sell as much as manny, but the only reason I think he should get 50 instead of 40 is because he(floyd) will be doing the majority of the promoting.

  8. Gajjers 08:13am, 02/23/2012

    I’ve never seen an MMA event before and don’t exactly feel the urge to change that, but I’ve heard of Dana White, and I’m well aware that he is praised & vilified in almost equal measure. Boxing IS my favorite sport & Mayweather my favorite current boxer, but I honestly can’t take umbrage at Dana’s remarks here. With the following he has, Floyd’s remarks regarding the laudable Jeremy Lin’s current popularity - which, from the accounts I’ve read, is well deserved -  must be considered, at the very least, irresponsible & ill-contrived. Calling it jealousy or racism seems a bit of a stretch, but having followed Floyd’s career for quite a while now, I can’t say I’m surprised that he once again stirred up a hornet’s nest on impulse. Does being supremely gifted in one area necessitate severe shortcomings in others? Dunno, but Floyd sure makes a strong case in favor of that notion.

  9. chillBOY_kimmy 07:55am, 02/23/2012

    ..yah!, i think floyd is just making reasons, alibis and lame excuses not to fight manny, before he’s been making many orders for manny and now manny has decided to undergo all. . .and now he’s making a new excuses with the splitting of the purse..i think this man doesn’t want to fight manny..because until now he’s got no answer for manny’s versatile talent in boxing..if he’s a real man i think money is not a big deal anyway you both would earn the same 50-50 i think it’s fair enough..don’t be to greedy..we heard manny offers floyd a 45-45 split and the extra 10% would go to the winner..i think it’s a man enough offer, you’re confident from the start that you would win against manny the same confidence goes with your vocal there’s no reason to worry..and you would get a 55% for that..come on!,floyd step up man..both of you have the test to face and after which let’s make it happen..

  10. the thresher 09:23am, 02/22/2012

    Riddick, is that really you?

  11. Milan 07:53am, 02/22/2012

    I’m one of the few people who’s a fan of both Boxing and MMA.  Boxing is my first love and probably always will be.

    But in this article (and others like it) I can’t help but sense jealousy and frustration because of MMA’s rise in popularity compared to the slow, anemic decline of boxing.  Let’s face it, boxing is on life support and Mayweather/Pacquiao are both the solution or part of the problem. 

    I think Dana White is spot on in his assessment.  Watch this video and decide for yourself:

  12. Riddick 05:38am, 02/22/2012

    Wow, Robert Ecksel can really write! 

    This is good stuff man, and very well written.

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