Anheuser-Busch Sends Warning To UFC Over Fighter's Derogatory Comments: "We will act"
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of one of the UFC’s biggest sponsors Bud Light, has issued a warning to UFC officials over certain comments made publicly by some of its fighters recently.
As reported by the AdvertisingAge, Anheuser-Busch stated,”We have communicated to the UFC our displeasure with certain remarks made by some of its fighters…If the incidents continue, we will act.”
Anheuser-Busch went on to state that they are a company that, “embraces diversity and does not condone insensitive and derogatory comments rooted in ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, etc.”
A few organizations have criticized the UFC in the past for allowing some of their fighters to make derogatory comments and go unpunished. The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence has even gone as far as sending a letter to New York state assembly members encouraging them to keep MMA banned in the state. The UFC has promised to address the situation with all of its fighters adding, “With over 425 athletes on our roster, there have unfortunately been instances where a couple athletes have made insensitive or inappropriate comments. We don’t condone this behavior, and in no way is it reflective of the company or its values.”
Of course some of the more recent instances were Miguel Torres’ and Forrest Griffin’s tweets about rape, as well as Rashad Evans comments towards Phil Davis where Evans made light of the Penn State sex scandal. The UFC does not plan on changing its stance on encouraging their fighters to use social media as a way to promote fights and stay in touch with their fans. However, they do plan to take action to prevent further incidents like these from happening by having mandated sensitivity training for all of its fighters, as well as mandatory seminars on the proper use of social media.
The relationship between Bud Light and UFC has been beneficial to both companies, giving the UFC a major corporate sponsor as well as giving Bud Light the opportunity to feature the likes of Dana White and superstar Jon Jones in their ads. One would hope the relationship does not have to come to an end over another offensive tweet.