Bob Reilly Explains His Stance Against Mixed Martial Arts

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Cage Potato has a good interview with New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly on his stance on mixed martial arts.  Excerpts:

It’s not a stated goal, though.  Even though I grew up a boxing fan and consider myself one still, though I’m not an active fan now, I compare what we should be doing to the difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing.  You know how much safer amateur boxing is?  A blow in amateur boxing is scored for being a clean blow, not by the force behind it or the damage it causes.  

I once had a man come to me and say, ‘My nephew is a jiu-jitsu fighter who does MMA, and he has an advantage because of that.  What I’m really interested in is the skill of how he puts his jiu-jitsu skills against a boxer or whomever.’  I asked him, if that’s the case, why don’t people want to watch just jiu-jitsu?  Why isn’t that as popular?  In other words, I strongly believe, you take the violence out of this and it would lose its appeal.  Is it very popular with a certain segment of the population?  Certainly.  Is collegiate wrestling as popular?  No. 

...

Absolutely not.  The only sport I’m against is mixed martial arts.  I have people come up to me just about on a daily basis, unsolicited, and say, ‘You’re doing the right thing.  This stuff is just brutal.’  People turn this on when they’re scanning through the channels, that’s their only exposure to it, and there are people kicking each other in the head.  As one of my aides saw recently, one guy punched the other guy, he was knocked out and falling to the ground, and as he fell the other guy kneed him in the head.  People see this and they are really offended and disgusted by it.  They see the violence in it.  They don’t come up to me and talk that way about boxing or football.

...

The argument you just made, I get many emails that make that argument, but this is the role of government.  Government says what you can and can’t do.  Government says you can’t drive over a certain speed limit or you can’t sell wine in grocery stores or you can’t stage a dog fight…

I offer my own brand of harsh critism over here, but people should really check out this interview in its entirity.  Reilly continually demonizes mixed martial arts while giving boxing a free pass on the same points throughout the interview.  At the very least, it highlights a major problem with politicians acting without the interests of the people in mind.

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