by Charles Jay
Hide the children. The UFC is coming.
The Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, possibly finding that its appeal to the Federal Trade Commission regarding the UFC’s “monopoly” could be a fruitless effort, has decided (we think, anyway) to take another route in its campaign to derail the freight train that has just signed a near-billion-dollar deal with Fox.
It is bizarre enough that this reporter sat at his keyword for more than just a few minutes, thinking about how to address it.
Culinary is now attacking the UFC, and in particular its president, Dana White, by playing the “decency” card, with a special appeal to moms and dads everywhere.
It has established a website – UnfitForChildren.org – which takes some of White’s quotes, posts them within the context of another quote he had made to Playboy Magazine (e.g., “I want kids watching us”) and asks the question, “But would you let your kids behave like this?”
UFC = Unfit For Children. Get it?
Before we go any further, let’s make clear that we THINK this is the Culinary Union behind the site, because there is a notation clearly posted that the organization is maintaining the site. A Whois search shows that the domain has a private registration. And a quick look at the union local’s website reveals a lot of bad-mouthing of Station Casinos, owned by the Fertitta brothers, who are majority owners of the UFC as well, but no reference to this particular page. There is also no denial of their association with UnfitForChildren.org either.
The interesting thing, and something that deserves mention, is that while Culinary’s real beef (pardon the pun) – the one that is at the heart of this end run to the FTC – involves the Fertitta’s casino operation, and as far as we know, Dana White doesn’t have anything to do with Station Casinos. Yet he is front and center here.
There are various “Obscenities” and “Slurs” they have documented from White through the years, repeated over and over. This collection includes classics like :
“He’s the baddest motherf***er ever. … I’ve never even f***ing seen that before. Right on the chin. He almost kicked his f***ing head off. … Look it, he’s still down! Holy f***ing sh**!”
“Hey Loretta, if you’re going to write a story, you f***ing moron, at least make sure it’s f***ing true and you have some facts and if you’re going to put some f***ing quotes in there, get some quotes from people who at least have the f***ing balls to put their f***ing name on it.”
…and then, of course the unforgettable:
“Whoever gave you that quote is a pu**y and a f**ing fa***t.”
And then another question is asked:
“Can you imagine NBA commissioner David Stern or NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talking like this?”
Well, no. Dana White will never be considered “dignified,” in the same vein as those sports czars. Of course, the Goodells and Sterns of the world have “clients,” so to speak, who they are responsible to, and those would be the team owners in their respective sports. They are not “entrepreneurs” running business, per se, but more like regulators and ambassadors for their leagues.
But that’s beside the point. Dana White is not in business to appeal to the “button-down” constituency. He’s more popular with the “in-your-face” constituency, which is much less concerned with, for lack of a better word, good manners. That’s what dominates the UFC audience now and what will build it in the future. There’s nothing dainty, traditional, or “old school” about any of this. Unfit for children? I would say that’s exactly the kind of thing they respond to. As such, they would consider White just the right fit.
Message to moms and dads: kids like to rebel.
Message to everyone else: Neither White, nor the UFC, has had to satisfy anyone’s idea of etiquette to get to major league status.
Are some of the quotes silly? Sure. Is there some “affect” at work? Probably. But this is show business. And business is good.
I don’t know what purpose it serves to take the moral stand here, unless Culinary wants to turn next to the FCC, after the FTC. Or unless this is the UFC itself, or a UFC-friendly entity, publishing this as a total goof on the union.
The whole thing is silly enough for that explanation to be completely plausible.