Women's media group to UFC boss: Apologize
Alex Marvez, FOXSports.com
Thu Apr 9, 1:57 PM UTC
A national women's sports media group is calling upon UFC President Dana White to apologize for disparaging comments he recently made about a female reporter, FOXSports.com has learned.
The Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) issued a press release Wednesday calling for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to "take action in regards to misogynistic comments" that White made in a video blog posted on the promotion's Web site. AWSM President Jenni Carlson said her group's request for an apology from UFC went unanswered.
Last Wednesday, White delivered a profanity-filled tirade toward Sherdog.com's Loretta Hunt for a story she wrote about the promotion's credentialing policy for fighter managers and agents. White called Hunt, among other things, a "(expletive) dumb bitch" for "an absolutely (expletive) retarded story" and ripped one of her sources as a "(expletive) faggot."
"This is disheartening because this behavior is unacceptable," Carlson wrote. "It establishes a hostile work environment not only for Loretta but all women who cover the UFC. We cannot accept that any female sports journalist would have to work in an environment of intimidation or a hostile workplace."
A UFC spokesman didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
White's tirade also triggered apology demands from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). White complied last week in another UFC video blog.
"I chose some words that offended and hurt some people," White said. "Anybody who knows me knows I would never, ever maliciously attack somebody who wasn't attacking me. As far as the gay and lesbian community, my comments were not directed toward them. I'm actually a supporter of many of their issues. The last thing I would ever want anybody to think about me or think is cool is to go out and attack somebody because of their sexual orientation. That was not my intention. That was not the way I said it and I apologize to anybody that I've offended or hurt."
White, though, never directly apologized to Hunt. He also told ESPN.com in a separate interview that he "absolutely, positively meant to attack (Hunt). Absolutely."
That was unacceptable to AWSM.
"It is a mystery to me that a man who is always seeking more coverage and exposure for his sport would disenfranchise some of the very people who are covering, sponsoring and watching his sport — women," wrote Carlson, who also cited Anheuser Busch and Harley Davidson as two of UFC's biggest sponsors.
The rant already has proven costly to White, a part-UFC owner who helped turn a money-losing promotion into a burgeoning sports entity. White already has reportedly pulled out of a reality show that was going to be based on his life. White, who has positioned himself as the high-profile face of the UFC, also is believed to have stopped his video blog.
Hunt declined comment Wednesday when asked by FOXSports.com whether she personally wanted an apology from White.
In her story, Hunt wrote that UFC officials refused to comment about claims the promotion is increasingly limiting backstage access to fighter management. White said the report wasn't true in his initial video blog. Several sources told FOXSports.com that Hunt's story was accurate. Hunt, a long-time MMA writer and co-writer of autobiographies by UFC heavyweight Randy Couture and long-time referee "Big" John McCarthy, said she stands by her story.
UFC has a long-standing rift with Sherdog.com. Since 2005, the promotion has refused to offer press credentials for its events to Sherdog.com and other mixed martial arts-based media.
Courtesy of FOXSports.com
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