Sunday, April 5, 2015

Legislative Scorecard: Those Against MMA in New York


The UFC's lawsuit is on ice. The Senate has passed their version of the MMA bill. Ronda Rousey has supposedly charmed the governor into supporting MMA legislation. And now, with the task of ironing out the state budget out of the way, the Assembly is on vacation and will return on April 21; shortly after they return, they will mull over the subject of sanctioned cagefighting in a closed-door conference. We have roughly 69 Assemblymembers ready to vote for MMA in that conference, about eight very much against it, and 23 undecided. Since we need 76 votes in favor, that means seven of those who are sitting on the fence must be converted.

I don't follow any other sports so maybe this analogy is a little off, but it's the bottom of the ninth inning, we need to score a touchdown, and someone just passed us the puck.

To keep you abreast of who stands where, I'm going to list some of the Assemblymembers, their positions on the topic, where in the state they're from, and their contact info. If you're inclined to reach out to them, BE RESPECTFUL. I can say with 100% certainty that representatives of the Culinary Union are making desperate calls to these legislators, and it isn't beneath them to pose as knuckle-dragging "MMA fans" and hurl threats and insults in an effort to make the sport look bad.

Today's scorecard: Those against MMA in New York.
  • Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, - 718-651-3185. Key quote: "What I do hear from leading experts on brain injury and disease is repeated concern about the long-term health consequences for participants... Even though this sport is more brutal, I don't see MMA advocates giving the same level of attention to player health that is now being seriously addressed, for example, in professional hockey and football. The current and potential long term health consequences for MMA participants is particularly troubling when we learn, according to ESPN, that some 3.2 million children under the age of 13 are now enrolled in MMA classes across America."
  • Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Manhattan - 212-674-5153. Key quote: "The sole goal of the activity is to inflict as much physical damage and pain as possible." 
  • Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, - 845-624-4601. Key quote: "Cage fighting has no place in a civilized society... Except for those who stand to profit from this barbaric entertainment… it harms the fighters who risk their lives, who are often seriously injured, it harms women who are victimized by glorification of distorted masculinity."
  • Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Ossining - 914-941-1111
  • Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Manhattan - 212-807-7900. Key quote: "Assembly Member Gottfried is opposed to lifting the ban on MMA. He has not reviewed the question of MMA at non-professional events, and has no position on it at this time."
  • Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Kenmore - 716-873-2540. Key quote: "I am not an MMA enthusiast and am not inclined to support the legislation should it come before me for a vote."
  • Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Sunnyside - 718-784-3194. Key quote: "I think the injuries are horrific. I think it looks like a cartoon on TV... This is not a cartoon; it is not a moment of glory. It is the destruction of another human being's dignity." 

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