Yesterday afternoon, former two-division UFC champ Conor McGregor made an impassioned address to Ireland’s leaders, demanding a full, mandatory lockdown of the country to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC President Dana White has now addressed that video.
While McGregor is clearly taking the pandemic very seriously, White has caught quite a bit of criticism for his reaction to the situation. The UFC boss has fervently attempted to keep the UFC running as normal during the pandemic — despite the obvious risks of doing so — and has refused to share any information about COVID-19 testing for athletes.
In other words, he’s acting contrary to the way McGregor has implored people to act.
Speaking with Yahoo! Sports reporter Kevin Iole on Tuesday night, White responded to this video from McGregor.
White admitted he hasn’t seen McGregor’s video, but agreed with the Irishman’s claim that a lockdown is crucial — though only on a short-term basis.
“I love that we did the lockdown, too,” White said from his Las Vegas home, where he is quarantining (via South China Morning Post).
“I kept trying to keep the fights going for as long as I could … [it was a] very tough decision to make but the governor [Nevada] made the right decision. Some of the people are going on lockdown tomorrow or today, we’ve already been in this thing for a week.”
While White agreed with McGregor’s message on the most basic level, he once again proclaimed that the virus isn’t something people should be afraid of — because we’re all going to die one day.
“The question becomes how long are we gonna do this? How long are we really gonna stay in our houses and hide?” White said. “If the coronavirus is what’s gonna get me, then so be it. It is what it is. The list goes on and on with things that kill people every year. One thing is guaranteed, we’re all gonna die of something.
“Since when do Americans run and hide in their freaking houses instead of taking this head on and finding solutions?” White added. “Protect the people that need to be protected. Whether you’re a coronavirus expert or not, it’s like hiding from cancer. You can’t hide from this thing.
“What’s gonna happen next flu season? This thing’s just gonna disappear? No, it’s gonna come back just like the flu. If it’s what’s gonna get you, it’s gonna get you. If the coronavirus is what’s gonna get me, then bring it.”
Needless to say, Conor McGregor and Dana White seem to be at odds on this one.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/25/2020.