From all appearances, UFC president Dana White has heard enough questions about possible repercussions for slapping his wife, on New Year’s Eve while on vacation with his family.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto attempted to ask White why he didn’t face any professional repercussions for his actions. White’s reply was to do what he often does when irritated by a question, he turned the question back on the ESPN employee. “Okay, so, what should it (professional repercussions) be?”
A seemingly flustered Okamoto followed up by asking White what he would have done if the UFC’s owners at Endeavor had asked him to step away from the promotion for 30 or 45 days.
“I told you, I was going to leave in 2016 with the sale. I could have sat out during COVID,” said White, “What should my punishment be?”
Well, since White’s asking, I have some ideas as to what type of punishment — for lack of a better term — Endeavor could hand down to the man who had the temerity to suggest earlier in the week that any punishment he faced wouldn’t hurt him, but it would damage the UFC and its fighters.
Remove White from the spotlight
White is a wealthy man, thanks to his tenure with the UFC and the cash he received when the Fertitta brothers unloaded the brand to Endeavor for $4 billion in 2016. He could have walked away then, and never worked a day in his life, but he chose to stay and remain the face and voice of the UFC; something he’s done ever since the Fertitta’s installed him as the organization’s president. No one has been promoted more by the UFC than White. So perhaps an end to that would be an appropriate consequence.
I’m talking about no appearances at UFC events, no press conferences, no podcast appearances, no ESPN interviews — a total media blackout on White.
A six-month hands-off suspension
Remove White from all day-to-day duties with the UFC. Sure, this is mostly a symbolic “punishment,” but it sends a message to White and those keeping an eye on the organization.
Develop and enforce a UFC domestic violence policy and hold White accountable
If Endeavor wants to send a message that it will have a strong response to domestic violence, it needs to put together a domestic violence policy and have White be the first person held to account.
Currently, the UFC handles domestic violence on a case-by-case basis and its record on that is spotty at best.
A mandated counseling program
White could go through a mandated anger management counseling program. Courts sometimes use programs such as these in lieu of prison time or more severe punishment.
A partnership – not just a donation – but an actual partnership with a domestic violence survivor group
Donating to a domestic violence survivor group is a nice gesture and will garner public relations points for the UFC and White. However, PR moves are often empty gestures — a means to an end.
It would be great if the UFC could work with a domestic violence survivors group and have them speak to employees and fighters about the effects of domestic violence on survivors and families. This partnership should be long-term.
What is going to happen?
It would be a shock if Endeavor placed any sanctions on White; remember, the UFC’s ownership has yet to make a statement on the video of the UFC president slapping his wife, but White asked what repercussions he might face and if he and Endeavor are looking for ideas, the above could be a start.