Since when did it become cool to use a convicted rapist to promote your product?
UFC President Dana White apparently sees no issue with it, as long as the rapist is one of his favorite former boxing champions.
White, who has previously used Mike Tyson to promote and appear on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, took his love for the convicted felon to an inappropriate level Saturday night. White placed Tyson cageside at UFC 160 so the camera could capture his reaction to the action inside the Octagon throughout the three-hour pay-per-view event.
After the event concluded, White told a group of reporters that Tyson was one of his favorite people to watch fights with and that he even went as far as to let Tyson decide which fighter received the “Knockout of the Night” bonus.
“He’s the Justin Bieber for grown men who like fighting and he makes everyone go crazy,” White said about Tyson. “He’s fun to watch fights with and he’s fun to hang around with. I like having him around.”
The problem is, White is the same guy who cut former UFC bantamweight Miguel Torres for making an off-color joke regarding rape in 2011. At the time, White spoke to SI.com and expressed his disgust of Torres for associating the UFC with a terrible crime such as rape. “I cannot defend Miguel Torres,” White said. “I cannot defend what he said.”
Tyson, on the other hand, spent three years in prison for an actual rape and remains a convicted felon. White, however, appears perfectly comfortable appearing with Tyson and allowing him to make high-level business decisions as to which fighters deserve bonuses.
White has come a long way in toning down his abrasive speech for the good of his promotion. In this case, however, he is letting his bromance with Tyson blind him of the damage he is causing to the UFC and its reputation by continually embracing a man who has committed such a heinous crime to an innocent member of our society.