UFC president Dana White has offered his support to the NRL as they aim to return to the field amid the coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday, the UFC is scheduled to become the first sport in the United States to return to action, despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, with the organization’s president acutely aware of the increased scrutiny that’s inevitably coming his way.
“Listen, we have families, too,” White told CNN Sport from his headquarters in Las Vegas recently.
“I have a family; I don’t want to hurt my family. I don’t want to die. This isn’t just some crazy, this is a well thought out plan.
“We’ve had very, very smart people, doctors and people that have been involved with the UFC for a very long time working on this thing non-stop since it started. We believe that we have this thing in a place where it can be as safe as it can possibly be.”
Similar to the UFC, the NRL announced their own resumption with the season set to relaunch on May 28.
Led by ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, the NRL made its return to training on Monday after weeks of negotiations among players, clubs, broadcasters and government officials.
Impressed with the leadership of V’landys, White declared he’s just a phone call away for anything the NRL might need moving forward.
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“And I’d be honoured to help him (V’landys) out in any way I can,” White told News Corp Australia.
“He only has to pick up the phone and I’ll assist with anything.
“With the work and thought that’s gone into our document, I know people are very impressed. And while nothing is ever perfect, never 100 per cent foolproof, I think ours is a pretty good plan.
“And certainly we’re going to find out this weekend.”
When asked what advice he would give V’landys and the NRL, White urged the game’s leaders to “block out all the noise and do what you think is right.
“Take care of your employees and your athletes, that’s what you need to worry about.”