New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly is back in the MMA news once again. As if wanting to prove just exactly how unwilling he is to ever admit anything relating to mixed martial arts is good, he is now questioning the motivations behind Zuffa's accident insurance and remaining steadfast in his opposition to regulating the sport in New York. From MMA Fighting:
"What immediately came to my mind was, What's the need for insurance? Because advocates for MMA have been touting how safe this sport is and that no one is ever injured, and in fact, the testimony here is that the worst that ever happened was a broken arm. But I don't think that insurance is going to do anything for the very prevalent brain damage that fighters will suffer.
When I explained to Reilly that the UFC fighters were already covered for injuries suffered in fights and the new insurance would cover injuries, suffered in or outside of the gym, while training or not for an upcoming fight, Reilly added:
"It's certainly not a bad thing that they provide this insurance, but it really does little or nothing to solve the problem of what will happen to fighters financially, of the physical damage done to fighters or the fact that this violent sport begets violence in our society. So it does nothing to address the systemic problems of MMA."
Reilly's argument borders on juvenile. Runners, golfers, baseball players all suffer injuries in their sport both in active competition and in training. To have insurance for fighters where, if they find themselves injured and forced out of a fight, they do not lose out on a payday and have to cover major medical bills is a very good thing and not one that in any way speaks to the "safety" of the sport. He also resorts to the ultra-political move of restating an argument "MMA has a relatively low number of major injuries in competition" by saying "no one is ever injured."
I've come around over the last year from thinking Bob was well intentioned but misguided and ill-informed, to thinking that he is flat out sinister in his willingness to lie and twist the argument in any way possible. It's clear he's going to ride this "issue" until the inevitable conclusion (MMA will be regulated in New York) at which point he'll hope that he stands as a shining example of morals over money, rather than being correctly identified as an example of moronism disguised as morality.