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Volume 24 No. 216
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Sports Meets Politics: UFC's Dana White Lauds Trump; U.S. Figure Skater Rips Pence

UFC President DANA WHITE said that PRESIDENT TRUMP, for "all the controversy surrounding him, is a 'stand-up' guy," according to Jordan Frias of the BOSTON HERALD. White said, “He says some crazy things and does some crazy things. He’s one of the most stand-up human beings that I have ever dealt with in the business.” White added, “Since Trump has been the president of the United States this guy has called me 15, 20 times. ... He called me to see if I wanted to start bringing UFC champions to the White House" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/18).

THOUGHT PROCESS: USA TODAY's Christine Brennan notes figure skater ADAM RIPPON, who is "believed to be the first openly gay U.S. Winter Olympian, criticized the White House’s selection" of VICE PRESIDENT PENCE to lead the U.S. delegation to Pyeongchang. Rippon said, “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it." Rippon added that he "would prefer not to meet Pence during the traditional meet-and-greet between the official delegation and U.S. athletes" in the hours leading up to the Opening Ceremony. Rippon: "I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that" (USA TODAY, 1/18).

RAISING AWARENESS: Spurs coach GREGG POPOVICH, prior to last night's game against the Nets, which corresponded with the Nets’ second annual Pride Night, said that events that promote diversity and inclusion are "vital to raising awareness to the number of social justice issues that face this country." Popovich: "Making sure that we all understand that there are social issues in the country that can be addressed, should be addressed is the reason why you do it. It’s not necessarily because of a certain individual. Whether it’s honoring the military, communities, LGBT community, it doesn’t matter. You have a responsibility and a platform, to use it is wise and responsible” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/18).