“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” ~ George Washington
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” ~ S.G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire
Our Hero of the Week is Dana White, CEO and president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), who has attracted much attention in recent days. During a press conference, a reporter raised the topic of White granting UFC fighters “a long leash,” particularly with regard to outspoken personal opinions expressed by UFC middleweight champion, Sean Strickland. Dana White’s immediate and fervent response reflected some of the same intensity as Strickland’s contentious statements. He said:
“I don’t give anybody a leash. A leash? Free speech! To control what people say and to tell people what to believe, I don’t f—ing tell any other human being what to say, what to think, and there’s no ‘leashes’ on any of them. … That’s ridiculous to say I give somebody a leash. Free speech, brother. People can say whatever they want, and they can believe whatever they want.”
It is truly inspiring to witness such a candid and forthright reaction to provocative remarks. We commend White, therefore, not just for his dedication to the sport but also for his very public defense of freedom of speech.