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Watch: UFC's Dana White Grills Canadian Reporter Going After His Fighter's Free Speech

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Outspoken UFC fighter Sean Strickland doesn’t hold back when it comes to sharing his opinions and lashing out at the liberal media. And if that media expects UFC President Dana White to keep Strickland on a leash for them, he’s got three words for them: “Free speech, brother.”

That was the message in the post-fight media briefing after UFC 297 on Saturday night in Toronto — in which Strickland’s loss in the main event wasn’t what was making headlines among the establishment media.

On Wednesday, a reporter had brought up years-old comments Strickland had made about the LGBT community in the media briefing prior to his fight against Dricus du Plessis.

Strickland, who is American, asked the reporter if they had voted for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. When he declined to answer, Strickland unleashed on him.

“Let me tell you something right now,” the then-UFC champ said, “if a man says he’s not going to say it, like, if you ask a motherf***er, ‘Did you vote for [President Joe] Biden?’ and he’s like, ‘Well I’m not gonna say — that’s none of your business.’ He voted for f***ing Biden.”

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“This is what I’m talking about, guys. The enemy. The enemy of Canada,” he added.

After a back-and-forth about LGBT issues in which Strickland asked the reporter whether he would have an issue if he had a gay son and this meant he wouldn’t have a grandchild, and the reporter said he had no problem with it, the fighter called the reporter “a weak f***ing man, dude” and called him “part of the f***ing problem” before starting in on Canada’s political issues.

“You elected Justin Trudeau. Like, when he seized the bank accounts [of Freedom Convoy truckers] — like, you’re just f***ing pathetic,” he continued. “And the fact that you have no f***ing backbone and as he shut down your f***ing country and seized bank accounts, you ask me some stupid s*** like that?”

The reporter continued to bait Strickland on transgender issues and the Bud Light boycott, which elicited similarly strong reactions. Strickland closed by noting, “This guy is the f***ing enemy. You want to look at the f***ing enemy to our world? It’s that motherf***er right there.”

WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.



This, unsurprisingly, had mainstream media outlets calling for Strickland’s head. (Sample Mediaite headline: “UFC Champion Goes on Deranged, Expletive-Filled Rant When Asked About Gay People: ‘GO F*** YOURSELF’”) However, the only person who could lop off Strickland’s head, metaphorically speaking, is White — a noted conservative himself, and someone who also speaks his mind.

Thus, when asked about the Strickland remarks and the “long leash” he gives to his fighters when it comes to their public pronouncements — including Strickland’s, which the reporter said was “getting into territory of homophobia, transphobia” — he responded predictably. Which, in this case, is a good thing.

“I don’t give anybody a leash,” White said. “A leash? Like, free speech? I’m going to control what people say? I’m going to tell people what to believe? I’m going to tell people — I don’t tell any other f***ing human being what to say, what to think, and there’s no leashes on any of them. What is your question?”

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“I was asking that question,” the reporter sheepishly replied. “I’ll move on, though.”

“Yeah, probably a good idea,” White said. “That’s ridiculous to say I give somebody a leash. Free speech, brother. People can say whatever they want, and they can believe whatever they want.”



Earlier in the interview, White noted that Strickland had been goaded into a political discussion by a reporter — and, if the reporter and his brethren were unhappy with the answer they got, this probably wasn’t the beat for them.

“I say it all the time: We’re in the fight business. If you get your feelings hurt that bad, you probably shouldn’t ask the type of questions when you know the answer you’re going to get from Strickland,” White said.

“If you ask him — you know who he is, and if you ask him a certain question … he was baited in that question. … It is what it is. It’s the fight business.”

Do you support freedom of speech?

Granted, the UFC’s structure — and the fact that pre-fight controversy almost never hurts in mixed martial arts — allows Dana White to unilaterally allow his fighters leash-less free speech. What’s interesting, though, is that this is exactly what the same sports journalism cadre were demanding years ago when NFL players — in a league with far more stakeholders and a significantly different image — were using the national anthem as a political vehicle to express their disdain for America.

They had free speech, we were told. Sure, Colin Kaepernick wore socks that depicted police officers as pigs and supported a charity dedicated to the ideals of a convicted cop-killer and black radical. But he had free speech! I mean, the kind they liked, anyway. The media demanded that, despite his declining skills and seeming interest in activism over football, he be handed a job. There were even ridiculous invocations of the First Amendment, apparently by people who had never read it.

But Sean Strickland has the Wrong Opinion™, and had Dana White fired him or fined him — which, by the way, he has every right to do, just as I would have every right to call him a pusillanimous fraud if he had done so — the same establishment media peanut gallery couldn’t be cheering loudly enough.

Thankfully, Dana White is a man who likes them just about as much as I do. And, from the sound of it, if Colin Kaepernick could grapple as well as he could play quarterback when he was at the top of his game, he’d have received the same treatment. Yet, funny how the press only called for one to face consequences for his controversial opinions — while they claimed the other was blackballed for his, despite declining play being the real reason he wormed his way out of the NFL. As always, if our media didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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