Dana White says Colby Covington's racist comments that Kamaru Usman is from a 'little tribe' that uses 'smoke signals' weren't racist

Getty/Logan Riely/Suhaimi AbdullahDana White, Colby Covington.
  • UFC President Dana White says he doesn’t believe racist comments aimed at a Nigerian fighter by UFC star Colby Covington were actually racist.
  • On Sunday, Covington asked Kamaru Usman if he communicated with his “little tribe” by “smoke signals.”
  • He also called supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement “life long criminals.”
  • “I don’t know what he said that was racist,” White told reporters on Thursday. “We let everybody speak their mind.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Colby Covington received a congratulatory phone call from Donald Trump following his victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Sunday.

“Who did you get a call from?” Covington asked fellow fighter Kamaru Usman, who was born in Nigeria, shortly after. “Did you get a call from, freaking, your little tribe? Did they give you some smoke signals for you?”

That, according to UFC president Dana White, is not racist.

“I don’t know what he said that was racist,” White told reporters on Thursday when asked about Covington’s remarks.

Covington, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, had also called Woodley “a communist, a Marxist, and [someone] standing up for lifelong criminals” in his support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I don’t know if I heard anything racist,” White added. “These guys all have their own causes, things, their own beliefs. We don’t muzzle anybody here. We let everybody speak their mind.”

When asked if he would condemn blatantly racist comments from any of his fighters, White said: “Of course.”

A number of Black UFC fighters have already spoken up against Covington’s comments, including bantamweight Sijara Eubanks who said: “It was flat-out racist. It was racist. It was disgusting.”

Read more:

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