Dana White had some explaining to do.
The UFC president is a well-known Patriots fan, having grown up in New England, so it was a bit shocking Wednesday when he tried to convince Tom Brady to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders during an interview broadcast on his Instagram page.
White even received a phone call from Patriots owner Robert Kraft regarding the apparent recruiting pitch.
“He was not happy with me,” White revealed Thursday on ESPN’s “Always Late with Katie Nolan.” “This thing is being blown out of proportion. I am being falsely accused here.”
Falsely accused? Care to elaborate, Mr. White?
“Now, first of all, what I said was, ‘I’m a Boston guy. I want him to play for the Patriots. But if that doesn’t happen, we want him in Vegas,’ ” White clarified, when pressed by Nolan. “I don’t want him going to California or any of these other teams. I want him coming here (to Las Vegas). If he doesn’t play in Boston, if he doesn’t retire and end his career there like he should, then he needs to come to Vegas.”
Fair enough. One can’t fault a guy for wanting his buddy to come join him in his city of residence, even if that buddy is a six-time Super Bowl champion, arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history and an important piece of New England’s culture after spending the past 20 years with the Patriots.
White also shed light on his phone call with Kraft earlier in the day Thursday during an appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” but clearly the backlash he received from Patriots supporters was strong. Thus, it was important for White to once again clear the air while speaking with Nolan.
“(Bill) Belichick is a stud. Belichick will figure this thing out if Brady doesn’t stay there,” White said. “I want Brady in Boston. I want Brady to retire in Boston. That’s the way it should go. But if it doesn’t go that way, I want him in Vegas.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images