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UFC President Dana White says in his latest UFC 98 video blog (above) that if a mixed martial arts fighter came out of the closet as gay, he'd be welcomed not just by the UFC management, but by UFC fighters and MMA fans as well.
"I honestly think it would have no impact whatsoever, with not only our fighters, but our fan base," White said. "The guys in the UFC, everybody's so cool, there's great sportsmanship, everybody's so respectful. It wouldn't be a big deal to me, and most of the guys I know in this sport, it wouldn't be a big deal to them either."
I'm glad to hear White express that sentiment, and I think he's right that the majority of UFC fighters would accept another fighter being gay. One of the things I like best about MMA is that the athletes show so much respect and affection for one another, regardless of how different they may be outside the cage. There are probably a few UFC fighters who would have a problem with another fighter being gay, but I don't think it's any more true in MMA than it would be in any other field.
And even though I'm sure some fans would taunt an openly gay fighter, I definitely believe White when he says he would personally welcome having a gay fighter in his organization. I think having an openly gay fighter would be good for the UFC from a marketing perspective because those fans doing the taunting would be outweighed by a whole lot of new fans who would be attracted to the sport simply because of the publicity that an openly gay fighter would bring in. I think a savvy promoter like White has to recognize that.
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