Monday, June 9, 2014

New York Post Editorial on MMA in New York


In case you're not from around these parts, you might not know where the New York Post stands in relation to news publications that command respect. If the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Observer, et al. reside in a house built upon solid journalism, the Post stands in a puddle outside peering in through a window. Regardless, there was an op-ed in yesterday's paper about Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's stranglehold on MMA in New York, and you know what? At this point, any press on the issue is good press.

Here's the New York Post op-ed in its entirety.

Sheldon Silver doesn’t look like a fighter.
But don’t underestimate his kick. Just ask the folks who have been trying to legalize mixed martial arts, a popular sport that combines boxing, wrestling, karate and kickboxing.
You might think Shelly would have his back to the wall here. New York is now the only state where pro MMA is illegal. For the fifth straight year, the Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, and it would pass the Assembly, too, if it came to a vote.
But with scarcely two weeks before the legislative session ends, it’s not likely to.
Officially, Silver says he’s waiting to see a “groundswell” of support before he allows the bill to move ahead. But it may be the displeasure of female legislators over his coverups of sexual harassment driving his holding action. Some of these women also oppose MMA, and Shelly may believe he’s not in a position to displease them.
Ironically, amateur MMA is legal in New York and growing. And the sport is readily available on TV and online. In short, all the speaker’s veto means is that New York is denied its slice of the pie. According to one report, legalizing MMA in New York would generate $135 million in new economic activity.
And not just for Manhattan. Some $33 million would go to upstate areas such as Buffalo and Syracuse.
Sad to say, it appears Shelly has again wrestled an economic winner to the ground.

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