UFC president Dana White obliterated aggregate media and specifically targeted ESPN during an interview with Yahoo Sports this week.
White’s rant stemmed from recent comments he made during a video interview with GQ, where the UFC president responded to a slate of Twitter questions. Most of the questions were light-hearted, but one focused on UFC fighter pay.
“Fighters always want to make more money,” White said in response to the question from Twitter. “Boxing has absolutely been destroyed because of money and all the things that go on. It’s never gonna happen while I’m here. Believe me, these guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid. They eat what they kill. They get a percentage of the pay-per-view buys and money is spread out amongst all the fighters.”
The response prompted ESPN’s Marc Raimondi to write a story titled “UFC president Dana White not planning fighter raises: ‘These guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid.'”
Apparently, the ESPN article struck a big nerve with White, who should be used to people calling him out for low fighter wages by now, a frequent and fair critique of the UFC. But as he described to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, White didn’t like the negative spinoffs from his “fun” GQ interview.
“What you’re telling me is, some scumbag media guys out there watched an interview that wasn’t even theirs, took it out of context and wrote stories about it saying that fighter pay is never gonna go up. I AM F*CKING SHOCKED!” White said sarcastically.
UFC's Dana White goes OFF, claiming ESPN took his quote on fighter pay out of context:
"You're a typical, scumbag, piece of shit fucking journalist if you fucking write a story off some fucking goofy, fun GQ fucking interview and you write a fucking serious fighter pay story." pic.twitter.com/GAuKqMrW4U
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
“You shouldn’t even be writing a f*cking story about anything unless you do the f*cking interview,” White continued. “You’re gonna watch a fun, haha GQ f*cking Q&A and write a story off it? You’re a piece of sh*t. You’re a piece of sh*t f*cking journalist.”
Yes, I understand the irony of aggregating content about Dana White’s profane rant on aggregators, but sometimes this work can be thankless.
“I’m doing a f*cking GQ piece,” White added in his interview with Yahoo Sports. “I wasn’t sitting down with f*cking ‘60 Minutes’ talking about fighter pay. It was a fun, edited video piece — edited. That wasn’t the full f*cking interview. It wasn’t a serious interview. It was a fun, f*cking edited piece, and ESPN, the leader in sports, is going to write a story on fighter pay based off that f*cking video? Give me a f*cking break.”
Kudos to White (seen above criticizing The New York Times in 2020) for calling out a media partner. But his gripe with ESPN, specifically, seems to be a bit extreme. ESPN’s headline was fair, while other sites chose White’s “It’s never gonna happen while I’m here” as a pull, a mischaracterization of the full quote because it wasn’t referring to fighter pay. “Never gonna happen while I’m here” was expressing White’s desire to prevent UFC from going down the same descending path as boxing.
White’s comments, regardless of whether the rest of the GQ interview was fun and “haha,” were still worth using as a starting point for a story on fighter pay, which remains a frequent topic of conversation among UFC supporters and critics.
That’s what aggregate media does, we look for the most interesting aspects of larger pieces of content. Imagine if every time Awful Announcing published a piece about Stephen A. Smith, we posted the transcription of an entire episode of First Take instead of pulling the quotes relevant to the headline?
Hopefully, White’s issue with aggregators is at least consistent. If the White doesn’t like aggregate media, he should detest every time droves of websites write about a UFC event that the author wasn’t in attendance for, and not just rail against a particular aggregated piece of content that has a negative tone.