In a letter written to Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus is calling for the “immediate removal” of Dana White as the president of the UFC.
Earlier this month, a video was released that showed White and his wife Anne at a New Year’s Eve party in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Anne looked distressed as UFC’s leader pulled her wrist and said something before Anne grabbed White. White then reacted with at most one straight slap.
The UFC, Endeavor and Turner Sports, who hosted White and the UFC’s Power Slap League, have not commented on the matter since it became public. Endeavor and Turner Sports will be hosting White on January 18.
In a letter posted online, the group expressed “deep concern” in regards to the video, as well as the non-response from all involved.
“In the days since the video was released, you have remained silent,” the letter states. “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. We are people who believe in our values, just like you.
” We are also 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. White as President of the UFC.”
In a subsequent interview along with the release of the video with TMZ, White expressed embarrassment for the situation and said there were “no excuses,” while also accepting the fact that he would likely be chastised — admittedly, deservedly so — by the public. White has also said in the past that “you don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman” when reacting to the horrifying video involving Ray Rice assaulting his fiancee in 2014.
The potential for hypocrisy is another concern from the advocacy group. If a UFC athlete is involved in a domestic violence situation in the future, how can White be in any position to punish them if he, himself, does not face any punishment himself?
“Mr. White is more than just the face of UFC. He is also the one who set the standards for athletes,” the letter stated. “He is the leader who has explained in years past that he stands firmly against domestic violence. The leader of UFC, Mr. White will decide the consequences if an athlete commits violence against their partner. All eyes are focused on White and Endeavor.
” A head of major sporting organizations cannot say that he is for women’s safety while an online video showing him hitting his wife goes viral without you responding. The hypocrisy is astounding. It is time to end this hypocrisy. 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.”
The letter was signed by Senator Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar–Curry and Vice Chair of the Group, respectively.