Yesterday, while in Calgary for the UFC press conference, Dana White took part in a fan question and answer session that covered a wide range of topics. Everything from walk-out music to Floyd Mayweather was covered in the Q&A, but maybe the most interesting answer from White came when he was asked about fighting in hockey.
Q: As you know, we love our hockey here. And it remains the only other pro sport that allows fighting. Curious as to your thoughts on fighting in hockey?
A: I'm not a big hockey fan. But I respect how talented you have to be to play hockey. Soccer? That's a whole other ball. Can't stand soccer. It's the least-talented sport on Earth. There's a reason three-year-olds can play soccer. When you're playing a game when the net is that big and the score is 3-1 (and that's a blowout) are you kidding me? You know how untalented you have to be to score three times when the net is that big? Now back to hockey. You have guys on skates with crooked sticks and you have to hit a puck into a net that's the same size as the goalie. And at any time someone could take your head right off your shoulders and it's perfectly legal. That's a real sport that takes real talent, speed and all the things you need to be a real athlete. Now fighting is a part of hockey and has been since Day 1. It's part of the game. It is what it is. I think we live in a world now where everything has been so pussy-fied. When I grew up we didn't wear helmets when we rode our bikes. We didn't have car seats. We didn't have all this stuff. Now things are safer and we should be safer but let's not go overboard. Fighting's a part of hockey. Period.
I'm not a big fan of soccer. Quite honestly, I find it horribly boring. But that being said, the idea that there is no talent involved because the net is big but the score is low is profoundly ignorant.
I'm not suggesting that MMA isn't a sport that requires immense talent at the highest level, but let's be honest about how much talent is on display in a fight like Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander or whatever the hell it was Matt Riddle was trying to do against Sean Pierson.
I also don't really understand the point of the "pussy-fied" comment. Car seats? Really?
Fighting is absolutely a part of "the culture" of hockey. But maybe a continued effort to clean up the game and reduce any possibility, however slim, of additional blows to the head and concussions from fighting in a sport that has a concussion crisis wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.