David, like many before him, including former-Governor Pataki and Senator John McCain, has changed his stance on MMA, i.e. he was against it and supported the ban in New York and has changed his position and now supports the sport:
As the editor in chief of Men’s Health, I’d been a de facto supporter of New York’s ban by refusing to put a mixed-martial artist on the magazine’s cover — despite the entreaties of several editors and even my own brother, Eric, who trained in M.M.A. I edit a health magazine, after all, and this is a sport in which men use nearly every means available to beat one another into submission, from jujitsu to kickboxing to simply slugging one another in the face with nothing but lightly padded gloves on their hands. But I’ve come to believe that, in fact, the New York Legislature is wrong. Mr. Reilly is wrong. And more to the point, I was wrong (an admission my brother will hold over my head as long as I live).Zinczenko recognizes what the John's Hopkins Study identified years ago about the risks of the sport, noting that additional padding and protective equipment does not make other sports safer. Specifically, he states "[w]e think of more traditional violent sports like boxing and football as safer in part because of the helmets and padded gloves their athletes wear, and that supposedly protect them from harm. These are, in fact, more like the equivalent of poorly designed sunscreen — 'protection' that allows athletes to submit to even greater levels of punishment."
As I have written repeatedly, I believe that in order to bring MMA to New York the debate needed to be shifted from one of economics to one that focused on the safety of the sport and the fact that there are currently underground, unregulated MMA bouts occurring in the state on a regular basis.
I have also written that if history is any indicator, the same mainstream media attention that led to the ban in 1997 could be effective to lifting the ban.
I think Mr. Zinczenko has done a nice job of touching on both of those messages with this op-ed in the New York Times and highly recommend you read it. Hopefully others in Albany will do the same.
Finally, Zinczenko states that he has changed his "cover" policy at the magazine:
I’ve changed my policy: This month Men’s Health features the U.F.C.’s reigning welterweight titleholder, Georges St-Pierre, on its cover. Sometimes the more raw and visceral a sport appears, the more humane it may actually be.Fight Lawyer