UFC, TBS and ESPN have all declined to comment on the Dana White domestic violence incident even going so far as to direct people to the TMZ article featuring the video and the Dana White admission.
But behind the scenes the support for Dana White might be faltering. Yesterday was the first day with major MMA media outlets back on the job. Ariel Helwani and Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell led the way condemning White’s behavior as well as the loud crowd of White’s apologists which include Jamahal Hill, Kevin Lee, Miesha Tate and others.
Many speculated that TBS would be the first to make a move – especially considering how damning the optics are of airing ‘Dana White’s power slap league’ during a scandal centering around him slapping his wife.
Helwani specifically called out TBS – a TV station that has a broadcast deal with the league.
We first investigated what moves TBS was making behind the scenes this time yesterday. At the time TBS had turned on a redirect on the page dedicated to Power Slap League – but they had done so only for international visitors.
We felt that was a non-reaction because we confirmed that US based visitors were still able to visit the site and see that Power slap was still on schedule for January 11th at 10pm.
This all changed earlier today when TBS replaced Dana White’s Power slap league with another broadcast of Young Sheldon.
TV broadcasters typically spook much easier than conglomerates like Endeavor. Endeavors shares bounced back some from the 6% drop that was associated with White’s scandal emerging.
TBS is a part of the Time Warner media network and isn’t owned by Disney – which owns ESPN, UFC’s leading broadcasting partner.
Power Slap League’s demise might be a good thing for the athletes because many prominent MMA insiders poked really big holes with the Power Slap ruleset including the very real dangers this kind of a showcase presents for brain health.
Considering the UFC veterans that have been all over the news lately, perhaps it’s time for a real change.