LAS VEGAS – Once vilified by the gay and lesbian community, the UFC was recently honored by the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada as its corporation of the year. That didn’t sit well with the ever-present culinary union, which asked the organization to retract its designation. UFC President Dana White thinks the Culinary Workers Union 226 should focus on what it can do to help rather than just sit and criticize.
“The bottom line is the culinary union has done nothing for the gay and lesbian community,” White told MMAjunkie.com. “They’ve done nothing, whereas we’ve done tons of stuff for the community.
“What the culinary union does is they use organizations like this. They use them. They call them and give them bull—t information to try and use them to hurt the UFC or whatever organization they’re going after.”
Mixed martial fans are, by now, no doubt familiar with the Culinary Workers Union, or UNITE HERE, which represents some 55,000 workers in the Las Vegas area. Not counted among that population are the employees of the non-unionized Station Casinos chain, which operates 18 properties and employs more than 12,000 workers.
Station Casinos is, of course, owned by the Fertitta brothers, who also serve as co-owners of the UFC. As a means of encouraging Station Casinos to unionize, UNITE HERE has often taking to attacking the UFC and its employees, as well as leading the charge against the legalization of MMA in New York.
Earlier this month, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, union leaders wrote a letter to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada board of directors to express concern that “the Center is honoring the Ultimate Fighting Championship as the corporation of the year” and that the UFC has a history of tolerating offensive comments by fighters and company representatives, including anti-gay and misogynistic remarks,”
White has often found himself at the center of the controversy, with UNITE HERE frequently citing a 2009 video where the UFC boss used a homophobic slur to describe a reporter. White subsequently apologized for his use of the word, but the outburst is still a pillar of the union’s complaints against the promotion.
White contends the union’s continued use of the moment is a bit unfair.
“I know what I did a few years ago,” White said. “They like to go out and call me a homophobe. I’m not a homophobe. If I was a homophobe, I would tell you, and I would tell you why I was a homophobe. I’m not. I have a lot of friends, I have people who I respect and care about, that are gay or lesbian, so I’m not a homophobe at all. I said that word a few years ago, and they like to use it (against me).”
According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada “will not reconsider rescinding its recognition of the UFC.”
White hopes the public will eventually see the wasteful nature of UNITE HERE’s tactics. In the meantime, he wants to make it painfully clear they’re not ever going to cause a change for either the UFC or Station Casinos.
“These guys are f—ing scumbags,” White said. “They do nothing for the gay and lesbian community, and then when they honor us because we’ve been involved, they try and bash them for honoring us.
“Go away, you f—ing creeps. Just go away. You’re not going to win. You’re not going to get what you want. You’re not going to get Station Casinos, no matter how many scummy things you try to do behind the scenes. We will beat you every f—ing time. Just go away.”
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