Friday, June 18, 2010

Is My New York State Senate Representative Just Making Things Up?

I just read this blog post by New York State Senator Liz Krueger -- who happens to be my representative -- about her "Opposition to the Legalization of Ultimate Fighting" and I just don't get it. 

I understand that there are two sides of every debate and certainly respect that there are -- and will be  -- those who are opposed to legalizing mixed martial arts in New York and in general.  That said, I think it is irresponsible to make certain of the statements in this post that are simply not accurate. 

At the outset, the fact that a senator, who should understand the issues after hearing the debate on the floor, is calling the sport "Ultimate Fighting" as opposed to mixed martial arts is troubling.

Moreover, Senator Krueger states:

Unlike boxing, no protective gloves or other gear is required.

Really Senator Krueger, name one state where MMA has been sanctioned and is regulated -- as it would be by the New York State Athletic Commission -- where gloves AND other protective equipment, including a cup and a mouthpiece are not required?   

Second, Senator Krueger states as follows:

There is no way of ignoring the fact that this is a sport rooted in violence. By glamorizing and legalizing this activity in New York we are exposing our children to a heightened level of brutality which can inadvertently encourage dangerous behavior in children.
As I posted yesterday after my conversation with Assemblymember Bing, "despite what many in the opposition say, merely having a ban in place does not prevent people from watching MMA in New York. On the contrary, New Yorkers still watch MMA on TV and live elsewhere and the ban just deprives the State of much-needed revenue while others (e.g., NJ transit when events are in NJ and/or cable service providers) reap the benefits." 

That is, merely because live fights do not occur in New York, does not mean that children can't be exposed to the sport -- that's right, the sport!

Thankfully, Senators, like Senator Krueger, don't have the ability to preclude broadcasts of MMA in New York  (and for that matter prevent New Yorkers from traveling out of state to watch MMA) because they might just take advantage of that ability.

Finally, Senator Krueger states:

Medical experts agree that participation in Ultimate Fighting can lead to permanent brain damage and even premature death. How can we legalize a sport which has shown time and again to have tragic consequence for its participants? Because promoters and even the State can make money off of it? I’m sorry, but no price will make up for the damage this will do to the New Yorkers who partake in this sport.
Driving a car CAN lead to permanent brain damage and even premature death, and so can boxing.  So this is simply not compelling.  Show me where these medical experts have opined that MMA is any more risky than boxing or football.  In fact, show me any medical report that you are relying on for your blog post.

I am all about intelligent debate on controversial issues, but parroting what MMA's ill-informed opposition have to say is counterproductive.

I reached out to Senator Krueger's office and hopefully I will hear from her so we can intelligently discuss these issues.

Fight Lawyer