Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Scenes From An NYC Bar Association Panel on MMA


Yesterday the New York City Bar Association hosted a panel discussion on MMA in New York, and nestled in among panelists Peter J. Kiernan (former counsel for Governor David Patterson), Senator Liz Krueger (one of the sport's most vocal opponents), and Justin Klein (the attorney who drafted this Association of Boxing Commissions letter) was yours truly. Before an audience of about 15 to 20, we talked about all things relative to pro and amateur MMA here, including the legislative efforts and the Zuffa vs. New York lawsuit.

Some notes:

  • Senator Krueger remains a breath of fresh air in terms of being a member of the opposition with whom you can have an intelligent discussion. Talking to former Assemblyman Bob Reilly was like talking to a crazy person; with Senator Krueger, it's all about opinion based on rational thought - and that's a good thing.

  • Kiernan provided a wealth of insight on the political process in regards to what goes on behind closed doors. But the greatest takeaway from what he said was that the winds of politics could change direction overnight. In other words, while the legislative outlook looks grim right now, there's absolutely no reason events "in the real world" couldn't instantly have the pendulum swinging the other way.
  • Klein isn't too optimistic about the sport's immediate future here, but he feels strongly about the state regulating amateur MMA. After all, his ABC letter essentially predicted the ills I wrote about in that Deadspin article.

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