Dana White, the CEO of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), continues to vigorously defend Bud Light amid the ongoing boycott from conservatives, as some leaders of the boycott, like Kid Rock, are also caving.
The boycott initially began in April after Anheuser-Busch, which produces Bud Light, sponsored transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney as part of its efforts to attract sales from a younger audience.
In the wake of the controversy, however, White instead chose to enter into a lucrative deal with Anheuser-Busch that would cast Bud Light as the official beer of the UFC. Ever since then, White has used every opportunity available to defend the brewer.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity in October, White outlined the numerous reasons he entered into a partnership with the company: Their employment of American workers, their support for American farmers, as well as their support for the military and law enforcement.
But the explanation did little to quell the anger among White’s conservative fan base, who accused him of being a sellout. Since then, White’s defense of Bud Light has become more direct.
During an appearance on comedian Theo Von’s podcast last month, White argued that the outrage was misguided given that Mulvaney was just one of 2,500 influencers who had been endorsed by Bud Light at the time.
“People are talking shit now, ‘sellout’ and all this shit that they’ll say,” White said. “Believe me, I’m the furthest fucking thing from a sellout.”
White took things one step further while speaking with the popular YouTube group Nelk at the end of November.
“If you consider yourself a patriot and you’re talking about all the other beers out there, I know all the other beers out there,” he said. “You should be drinking fucking barrels of Bud Light if woke is what you’re worried about.”
White even appeared in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson this week in which he similarly boasted of the partnership.
In the interview, Carlson pushed back, but White claimed he’d done his research having worked with other brands, and that Anhueser-Busch was “way more aligned” with conservative values than other options.
Nevertheless, some conservatives appear unwilling to shift their opinion, claiming White is just trying to juice the value of his deal.
“Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Dana White told Tucker Carlson, ‘If you’re a patriot, you should be drinking gallons of Bud Light,’ with the only reason seemingly that Bud Light gave him a lot of sponsorship money,” wrote Paul Joseph Watson.
Luckily for White, he isn’t alone. Kid Rock, who famously shot several cases of Bud Light with a rifle before being caught several months later drinking the beer while out in public, has also come to the drink’s defense.
Speaking with Carlson as well, Kid Rock said on Sunday that he was ready to endorse the beer once again.
“At the end of the day, when you step back and look at it, like, yeah, they deserved a black eye and they got one. They made a mistake,” the singer said. “So, do I want to hold their head underwater and drown them because they made a mistake? No, I think they got the message.”
Although it appears the tides could be turning, it remains unclear whether conservatives will follow White and Kid Rock’s lead.