Okay, personally, I hadn’t given much thought to the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in New York State. What does that have to do with me? I am not going to watch it. I am not going to let my three boys participate in it any more than I would allow them to participate in boxing or football. Call me overprotective, whatever. MMA would be an economic boon to the economy I hear. God knows the City of Albany could use a boost. Some even say MMA is good for kids. At least that’s what Albany County District Attorney David Soares says in today’s Times Union where he came out in support:
“From football to step-dancing, motocross to skateboarding, and boxing to kickball, we are creating spaces and places for children to be safe.”Read more: Times Union, David Soares
“Why, in a state that just enacted tough new legislation addressing the epidemic of domestic assault, would we reverse course and expose our children to the violent misogyny and perverse forms of masculinity that are celebrated in the world of amateur and professional cage fighting?”-–from the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence letter to Speaker Silver
The fact sheet hits on a series of five points with detailed information to support them. The gist of it is here:
- Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is a spectacle of violence in which severe bodily harm and humiliation are possible outcomes.
- Cage fighters at the amateur and professional levels have competed in public stadiums and on television bearing Neo-Nazi messages in their tattoos and on their clothing.
- MMA does not fit the Council of Europe’s definition of sport.
- Regulators and promoters of professional MMA have so far failed to establish clear and consistent standards for preventing the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
- UFC-branded MMA sets a negative example for young people.
The most compelling argument to me against MMA is that it is simply not a sport. It’s a legal (in most states) way for people to beat the crap out of (and sometimes kill) each other. Combatants are allowed to kick each other in the head, use elbows, knees, hands to injure one another. Choke holds are also permitted. Fighters are often “caged”–I know you have seen this on TV. If you read exactly what MMA entails in the fact sheet, do you think it’s good for your kids? To quote a friend,
“Soares is wrong to compare it to judo or karate, just because it’s in the name. It is athletic, to be sure, but it is athletic activity devoid of honor, principle or restraint. Unless he thinks MMA is an innovative approach to getting guns off the street, ‘hey, let’s just teach our young people how to kill using only their bodies!'”
Bottom line? It’s a brutal, barbaric form of “entertainment” whose legalization is being pushed by companies and people who are positioned to make a lot of money off of making it legal. Check out the increase from 2008 to 2012 in campaign contributions by the Zuffa LLC, the firm that operates the UFC franchise. (Thanks to Capitol Confidential, http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/179402/ufc-battles-for-permission-increases-contributions/)
What do you think? Should Mixed Martial Arts be legal in NY?
Whatever your thoughts, please comment or submit your own post in response.
Two of our local representatives, Assemblyman John McDonald(108th) and Assembly woman, Patricia Fahy (109th)/both stated back in February that they are “open” to MMA. I don’t know if their positions have since changed, but I am sure they’d like to hear what you think.
Whatever your position on MMA, come on out on Tuesday, April 23rd from 11am-1pm on the West Capitol Park steps to Support Survivors of Sexual
Violence and Abuse with the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault and others.