ESPN has issued a statement after UFC President Dana White made some controversial comments about journalist Ariel Helwani.
The story starts with women’s mixed martial arts icon Gina Carano.
Carano (7-1 MMA) was let go by Lucasfilm last week after sharing what the company deemed as “abhorrent” and “unacceptable” posts on social media.
“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement (via Variety.com). “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Following Carano’s firing, multiple members of the MMA community, including Dana White and Ariel Helwani, shared their respective reactions.
“Leave Gina alone. Listen we make mistakes. We all make mistakes.” – White said following Carano being dropped by ‘The Mandalorian’.
Meanwhile, Ariel Helwani shared a much more lengthy reaction to the posts shared by Gina Carano which subsequently led to her firing.
“Obviously I am very disappointed in what she posted. To be honest I haven’t agreed with a lot of the things she has posted over the past year. This last post, essentially comparing being a Republican in America, or having a certain political view, to being a Jew in Nazi Germany during World War 2 is asinine.” Helwani said, much opposed to the words issued by Dana White. “It is an absolutely crazy comparison to make and is completely insensitive to think that Jewish people and other minorities as well, not just Jews, but in this particular post Jews were the ones discussed, had to hide in attics and in gutters and had to be separated from their families and murdered six million of them. Umm.. to compare that to what is going on in this country is just a very tone deaf analogy to make, to put it mildly.”
Ariel Helwani concluded:
“As a Jewish person, and as a human being, it just doesn’t sit well. And I wish she would have never posted that. And quite frankly I wish someone would have talked to her about her social media posts over the past year. Some of them not even political. Just in general, they felt off to me. I am sorry she has gone down this path.”
Dana White used Helwani’s comments to take a shot at the ESPN journalist. Here is what the UFC President had to say prior to last weekend’s pay-per-view event (via Helen Yee).
“We all make mistakes. For everyone to go in on her… I love how Ariel Helwani made it all about him. It’s all about him. Such a douche.” – White said.
Most recently, ESPN released an official statement defending their prized MMA journalist.
“Ariel is a valued colleague and an exceptional MMA reporter. His record speaks for itself,” ESPN told the New York Post when asked about the comments made by Dana White.
As of this moment, the UFC President has not commented on the recent statement from ESPN. What do you think of the ongoing feud between White and Helwani? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!