Ultimate Fight Championship president Dana White rejected media pressure to censor the political beliefs of conservative fighters such as Colby Covington, stating “We don’t muzzle anybody here.” Covington’s criticism of Black Lives Matter has created significant outrage in left-wing sports media.
“These guys all have their own causes, things, their own beliefs. We don’t muzzle anybody here,” White said.
“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.”
When reporters tried to ask White if the fighting promotion itself is against racism, the UFC president shot back, ” “Of course, c’mon, I’m not going to play these games with you guys.”
Several black fighters have expressed anguish about Covington’s remarks about Black Lives Matter after his dominant victory over Black Lives Matter supporter Tyron Woodley last Saturday.
Woodley, who wore Black Lives Matter shirts to all pre-fight appearances as well as a hat emblazoned with the slogan “make racists catch the fade again,” chose to reply to all questions from media in pressers leading up to the fight with some variation of “Black Lives Matter.
“I’m just excited that black lives matter,” Woodley said when asked about the fight.
Covington, an avid Trump supporter who frequently wears MAGA paraphernalia and has received shoutouts from the presidential family, thoroughly dominated Woodley through the first four rounds of the fight.
The Black Lives Matter activist frequently caught heavy hands to the face from Covington, and spent a good deal of time on the ground and being pushed back against the cage, before crying out in pain in the fifth round until the referee stepped in to halt the proceedings.
"Black Lives Matter is a complete sham. It's a joke. They're taking people that are complete terrorists. These are bad people… [Tyron Woodley] is a communist. He's a Marxist. He hates America." – @ColbyCovMMA
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 20, 2020
Covington went on castigate Lebron James and other “woke athletes” as “spineless cowards,” and took a congratulatory phone call from President Donald Trump during the post-fight interview.