For the recent increase in controversial comments made by UFC fighters (see: Miguel Torres, Forrest Griffin, etc.), the promotion has found itself in hot water with one of its major sponsors: Anheuser-Busch.
The parent company to Bud Lite — a product heavily endorsed by the UFC — Anheuser-Busch has come under pressure from various advocacy groups for sponsoring the promotion. In a report published by Ad Age, Anheuser-Busch reprimanded the UFC and warned of impending action should such behavior continue.
“We’ve communicated to the UFC our displeasure with certain remarks made by some of its fighters, and they have promised to address this,” read a statement attributed to Anheuser-Busch. “If the incidents continue, we will act.”
In response, the UFC said that such comments do not reflect company attitude or policy and will be addressed by mandatory sensitivity and social media training.
“With over 425 athletes on our roster, there have unfortunately been instances where a couple athletes have made insensitive or inappropriate comments. We don’t condone this behavior, and in no way is it reflective of the company or its values.
“Unlike most other sports leagues, we encourage our athletes to engage online. It is part of our company culture, and whenever you are at the forefront of a trend or initiative, it comes with its own pitfalls. We will continue to embrace social media while looking for better ways to stay in front of the issues. This includes a mandate for our athletes to attend sensitivity training and a seminar on proper use of social media.”