Former ESPN star Sage Steele praised UFC President Dana White’s decision to keep Bud Light as the company’s official beer sponsor in partnership with Anheuser-Busch.

Bud Light received immense backlash over the last year for its partnership with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light saw Modelo surpass it as the No. 1-selling beer brand, and its sales were still down through the first month of 2024.

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But Steele, who was at UFC 299, told “OutKick The Morning’s” Charly Arnolt that everyone deserves a second chance and that it was a good move for White to keep Bud Light.

“I get it, but I said to Dana when we met a couple of weeks ago … I love that he did that because it’s like, No. 1, everybody deserves a second chance, in my opinion,” Steele said on the show. “I really do believe that. And secondly, what a brilliant business move.”

“When a company is down, down and out, losing billions of dollars, guess what, from a strictly business perspective, they’re going to pay up to try and fix their image. And UFC has benefited greatly from that. I just think it’s brilliant, and again, he does not care: ‘This is what I’m going to do. I’ve proven I’m a pretty good businessman.’ And look, it was great to see those guys there, too, enjoying it.”

White defended the decision in October during an appearance on “The Sean Hannity Show.”

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“These guys employ 65,000 Americans, thousands of vets they employ. They spend over $700 million a year with U.S. farmers, you know, buying their crops for their product. And there’s many, many other reasons that I did this,” he said.

“Where I sit personally with my core values, and I felt like the core values of the UFC, even though we’re a global sport and we have fighters from all over the world, this is an American company. And I love this country, and this is more about me being aligned with somebody who is a sponsor of the UFC and somebody I’m going to work with every day.”

White alluded to the backlash Bud Light previously received by saying fans “might not love” every business decision that is made by either UFC or Anheuser-Busch, but he said “it wasn’t a tough decision at all.”

“This is more about core values to me than anything else,” White added.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.