The shooting tragedy in Las Vegas hit close to home, quite literally, for the UFC. The Vegas-based organization pledged a $1 million donation to the victims and their families, UFC president Dana White told ESPN.
The company took a count of all its employees on Monday morning, just hours after the deadly mass murder at an outdoor Jason Aldean concert (held at Mandalay Bay and part of the Route 91 Harvest Festival) left 59 dead and 527 injured.
“At the end of the day, this is our city – we love this place,” White told ESPN. “The first thing when we got up this morning, everybody, personally, got it together and made sure anybody they know or love was OK. Then we came in here and made sure all of our employees are OK. …Then you start thinking about this city, our hometown, and we felt we needed to do this. This is something we needed to do.”
White grew up in Las Vegas, and the UFC has been tied to the city since 2001, when two casino owners purchased the company. A UFC 216 event scheduled for this coming Saturday will now be dedicated to the entire city, White said.
The Oakland Raiders, an NFL franchise likely on the move to Las Vegas, pledged $50,000 to a victims’ fund. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, a brand new NHL program, had just finished their final preseason game a block away and only minutes before the shooting took place. They pledged an undisclosed amount to the victims’ and their families.