Tuesday, New York made a ruling that it is legal to view child pornography, but mixed martial arts is still illegal in the same state. This just shows the backwards culture that numerous politicians have on mixed martial arts. Below is the link for the article in New York:
Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s MMA was branded as human cockfighting. This statement was made famous by John McCain when he and other politicians wanted to outlaw the sport for good. The UFC was outlawed from PPV for a while and it took years for the sport to get regulated.
Thankfully, Dana White and others were able to get the sport regulated and pass laws to make the sport what it is today. Almost every state in the United States has legalized MMA, but New York still holds out.
Just to show the hypocritical nature of the New York politicians boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling and kick boxing is all legal in New York, but MMA is illegal. In fact, mixed martial arts is a safer sport than boxing, yet is still illegal. No one has died in MMA, but we see numerous deaths in boxing each year.
Mixed martial arts, while not a safe sport, is definitely one of the more safe out there. We haven’t seen fighters suffering from severe brain trauma, nor mass suicide like in football from concussions. There aren’t any mixed martial artist that have Parkinson’s disease and they take much less of a beating than boxers. In boxing, the point is to knock down your opponent by multiple strikes to the head. When a boxer is knocked down he is given ten seconds to get back up and then is beaten again if he can stand back up.
In MMA if a fighter is knocked out, the referee is able to step in and stop it immediately if he cannot defend himself intelligently. There are also submissions to finish your opponent, so there is a lot less brain trauma.
Part of the reason MMA is illegal is because of the political ties ZUFFA head Lorenzo Fertitta has in Las Vegas. He owns multiple casinos and is anti-union. New York is a democratic state in which most politicians in the state support unions. The reason it isn’t being passed in New York isn’t because of the sport being barbaric, but the fact that the head of the biggest MMA promotion goes against the state’s political views.
This newest trial in New York just shows how far mixed martial arts has to go to be viewed as a legitimate sport. While this trial may have shown the holes in the laws to fight child pornography it also shows that MMA is still viewed as a niche sport. Mixed martial arts has failed to be passed in New York on multiple occasions, most recently this year, and New York has even said the state will not look at trying to legalize the sport in 2012.
Part of helping to get MMA legalized will be fighters becoming more professional. The sport can’t have fighters acting like thugs inside and outside the ring, but this is an issue in all sports. It could even be said that fighters are more professional and better acting than athletes in other sports.
Most are college graduates, some are even Olympians, and are good people. We see all the time in sports like baseball, professionals getting DUI’s and basketball players getting in brawls.
Luckily, MMA is become much more mainstream. Anderson Silva is sponsored by Nike and Burger King, some fighters are sponsored by Safe Auto and Georges St. Pierre is even sponsored by Under Armour. These are huge companies and the fact that fighters are being sponsored by these companies shows how far it has come as a sport.
It still has a long way to go though and this trial in New York showed it. The best way to help MMA get passed in New York is for fans to hound their politicians to get it passed. Educate the politicians about what MMA truly is and that it isn’t “human cock fighting” as it was once branded, but a legitimate sport now.
Below is a video on legalizing MMA in New York: