UFC President Dana White wants people to leave Gina Carano alone. Carano has promoted anti-mask and QAnon content, conspiracies that the election was stolen from Donald Trump and put "boop/bop/beep" in her Twitter bio to mock people sharing preferred pronouns. Disney finally had enough when she compared conservatives to victims of the holocaust a few days ago. In White's opinion, "we all make mistakes."
While asking people to leave Carano alone, White took the opportunity to call ESPN's Ariel Helwani a "douche." White decided Helwani was a douche because he made it all about himself. Here's the audio of Helwani, a Jewish man, "making it all about himself" by talking about the Holocaust and a trip he took to Auschwitz during an appearance on ESPN Las Vegas's Cofield & Co.
Helwani was incredibly nice to Carano in that clip. How can any human being listen to that story and come away thinking, "such a douche?" And then say it in front of cameras and microphones. And this wasn't about some random guy on Twitter threating to illegally stream a UFC event. This is Ariel Helwani, who works for ESPN, the UFC's billion dollar broadcast partner. So what does ESPN have to say about this? Nothing.
Former TBL writer Ryan Glasspiegel reached out to ESPN for a statement and declined to comment.
UPDATE: ESPN told Glasspiegel, "Ariel is a valued colleague and an exceptional MMA reporter. His record speaks for itself.”
Imagine for a second what would happen if Adam Silver called Adrian Wojnarowski a douche. Or if Roger Goodell said something like this about Adam Schefter. Would ESPN remain completely silent? I'm guessing we will never know for sure because this wouldn't happen.
This is Dana White. He's not a real commissioner. He's a promoter. He says wild stuff and sides with Greg Hardy and Gina Carano and is mean to the media when they do anything besides promote his pay-per-view events. White previously banned Helwani for life (for two days) from the UFC. So there's nothing shocking about any of this.
Will ESPN take this into consideration when the UFC's current deal runs out? In 2020 they had to step in and stop White from holding unsanctioned events in California. Now he's calling one of their employees a douche and telling people to be nice to someone they just fired. Sure is weird how that works.