The California Legislative Women’s Caucus has penned an open letter to Ari Emanuel seeking Dana White’s removal from his position.
The caucus includes seventeen senators with the letter signed by its chair Sen. Nancy Skinner and the group’s vice chair and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.
Below is the letter:
We write with deep concern about the recent violent video we have seen online from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.) President Dana White. Our caucus, which is both bicameral and bipartisan, is composed of women across the State of California who are committed to creating better lives for women and girls. We care deeply about intimate partner violence, and we have seen how partner violence affects the lives of children and families. Most importantly, we are deeply aware of how impactful our actions are on the minds of young people, who learn from what we tolerate and what we condemn.
Given Mr. White’s previous remarks against domestic partner violence, we believed that Endeavor and the U.F.C. shared this commitment to safety, respect, and accountability. You yourself have written extensively about the need to speak out and act when we see things that are not in line with our values.
And yet, we have seen the video of U.F.C. President Dana White, where he strikes his wife at a New Year’s Eve celebration with a closed fist. We were appalled. It was alarming to say the least.
In the days since the video was released, you have remained silent. 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. Like you, we are people who live by our values.
We, too, are 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 U.F.C.
Every day that Mr. White’s actions go unaccounted for, your silence becomes more piercing and troubling. At this point, thousands of young men, women, and adults worldwide have seen the video of Mr. White striking his wife. We have also seen his apology. What we have not seen is any consequences for his actions.
As Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, the U.F.C.’s parent company, you have the authority to decide who leads the U.F.C., which is one of the world’s most watched sporting leagues, with millions of fans across the globe. Mr. White is not only the external face of the U.F.C., he is the leader who sets the expectations for the athletes as well. He is the leader who has explained in years past that he stands firmly against domestic violence. If an athlete were to commit violence against their partner, Mr. White is the leader within U.F.C. who will have to determine the consequence. The eyes of the world are on him and on Endeavor.
The head of a major sporting organization cannot claim to be for the safety of women while a video of him striking his wife continues to circulate online without a response from you. The hypocrisy is astounding. Enough is enough. 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.
Nancy Skinner, Chair Senator, 7th District
Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Vice Chair Assemblymember, 4th District
Last week, a video surfaced on TMZ of White in a VIP area of a nightclub with his wife Anne in Cabo San Lucas. After grabbing his wife by the wrist, Dana whispered something into her ear that drew a response of Anne slapping her husband, who responded with a slap of his own.
White issued an apology in conjunction with TMZ releasing the footage and pointing out his hypocrisy of stating years ago that hitting a woman is something you don’t come back from.
Since the incident was made public, Endeavor and the UFC have not spoken about the incident when asked for a reaction. ESPN gave a response to reporter Trent Reinsmith that they air UFC’s content and didn’t address the video.
TBS has delayed the debut of Dana White’s Power Slap by one week with the reality series scheduled to air on Wednesday, January 18th.
The lack of coverage was also addressed by columnist Jemele Hill for The Atlantic.