Dana White addresses homophobic slurs used by fighters at UFC 293: ‘We make mistakes’

Manel Kape and Charles Radtke both capped off wins at UFC 293 with expletive-filled post-fight speeches that also included a homophobic slur.

For Radtke, he erupted at the Australian audience, shouting “f*** all you f****** up in the f****** crowd,” before challenging the crowd come fight him as UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier quickly ended the interview and walked away.

A few fights later, Kape scored a unanimous decision win over Felipe dos Santos. He then turned his attention to Kai Kara-France in the audience; he and Kara-France were originally scheduled to fight before Kara-France dropped out due to a concussion in training.

Before he finished his post-fight rant, Kape ripped Kara-France’s team at City Kickboxing and added “all your teammates are f******.” His interview ended a split-second later.

Both Radtke and Kape later issued apologies for using the homophobic slur.

At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White addressed the situation and doubled down on his longstanding policy to allow athletes the freedom to say whatever they want.

“That was flying around a little bit tonight,” White said about the homophobic slur. “I think these guys get a little excited, and you make bad mistakes. [Charles] Radtke did the same thing. You know me, we didn’t run over to him, and say, ‘You better apologize.’ He did that on his own. When he got backstage, he was embarrassed, and he got caught up in the moment. He felt like he was treated like s*** and all that stuff. He got emotional. …

“We make mistakes. I am not holier than thou either, so we’ve all been in positions where we’ve made mistakes, and like I always say, it’s how you recover from it and how you carry yourself after you make the mistake. He came out and apologized on his own free will. We didn’t tell him to do anything. The fact that he did that means he means it.”

Under the UFC’s code of conduct policy, fighters can face punishment for any behavior deemed detrimental to the promotion, including the language Kape and Radtke used, though the organization has rarely acted on it. In 2013, the UFC fined Nate Diaz $20,000 and suspended him for 90 days when he used the homophobic slur on social media.

This time around, White praised Radtke for issuing an apology despite no blowback from the UFC.

“I don’t make anybody apologize for anything,” White said. “You do what you want. You’re grown men and women. You’re able to say whatever you want.

“He did it. He came back, he was embarrassed, and he apologized. I’m sure some people will accept his apology, and some people won’t.”

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