It started as a joke, but UF-Sea wound up doing something good for the world.
T-shirt sales from the “Fight Island” parody conceived by comedian John Oliver – and trademarked by UFC President Dana White – netted $11,000 for the 14th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Gala, an event promoted by The Bob Woodruff Foundation to raise money for veterans’ grants. The UFC was a “bronze level” contributor to the gala, according to a UFC press release.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation is a charity near and dear to Oliver’s heart. Since 2006, the group has awarded financial grants to veterans who served after 9/11. It raises money to get veterans lasting care to address suicide prevention, mental health, caregiver support, and food insecurity. To date, over $75 million has been raised with more than 12 million veterans receiving assistance.
Oliver got the wheels turning when he questioned the UFC’s judgement of promoting events in Abu Dhabi on “Fight Island” and suggested the promotion call it UF-Sea. That led White to trademark the name and Oliver to retort by claiming an expired UFC trademark to sell a baby onesie with the logo “You Will Submit” on the official HBO Shop. Oliver thanked “Dumps McFightman,” aka White, for the assist.
‘It’s so great to see two long-time supporters of the veteran community come together in unlikely ways,” stated Bob Woodruff Foundation CEO Anne Marie Dougherty in the release. “John Oliver has been a huge supporter of the Bob Woodruff Foundation over the years and now, thanks to some good-natured sparring with Dana White, the ‘UF – SEA’ t-shirt has helped raise critical funds to support our veterans at a time when they need it the most.”