Connecticut Legalizes Mixed Martial Arts – Your Turn, Sheldon Silver!
Throughout my 3 and a half years with 104.5 "The Team," it has been well-documented both on-air and online my love for Mixed Martial Arts. I have guests on a fairly regular basis to talk about big news stories within the sport, preview big fights and even hit on some testy issues like marijuana usage and TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). On top of that, I have been a consistent proponent for getting MMA legalized in New York State, and the frustrations just continue to pile up.
History was made last Wednesday, in a news story that surprised me when I caught wind of it late last week. On that day, the state of Connecticut - along with the entire country of Canada - officially legalized MMA, making the great state of New York as the only state / province in North America that has yet to legalize the sport. To make we're all in the same boat here, I'm not recognizing "Central America" in this article, because pretty much anything is legal there!
Just think about that for a minute: the 3rd-most populated state / province in the entire United States and Canada (behind California and Texas, almost 50% more populated than Canada's leading province Ontario) hasn't legalized a sport that everyone else has. Meanwhile, the state continues to support a sport that has fallen onto its ass across the United States over the last 15 to 20 years - professional boxing.
Don't get me wrong, I still love watching boxing once in a while, including when locally-trained boxer Nick Brinson won the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight Championship this past Friday night on a card televised by Showtime. However, the reputation garnered by the sport for drug testing and crooked judges has cast a dark shadow, not to mention the lack of credible talent from the United States over the last six Summer Olympiads (only 2 gold medals for Men's divisions - lightweight Oscar De La Hoya in 1992 and light heavyweight Andre Ward in 2004).
To be perfectly honest, I am embarrassed and ashamed of this state's governing bodies, which has taken time in recent weeks to debate the hazards of wearing bowling shoes outside of a bowling alley, rather than vote on a piece of legislation that could make "The Empire State" tens of millions of dollars! And the saddest part of the entire situation is that at least most, if not all of the blame can be placed on the head of 1 used-up, stubborn politician - Sheldon Silver.
The 69-year-old dinosaur continues to use old-school political red-tape tactics and old mentalities to address the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts, while he allowed a fellow Assemblyman to cover up a history of sexual abuse for years (look up the name Vito Lopez). Silver continues to believe that the sport is way too barbaric, while there are more deaths attributed to professional boxing than professional MMA on a year-to-year basis. And to put the cherry on top of this foolish sundae, Silver has sat idly by as teachers lost their jobs and state parks have closed because of decreases in State funds - part of which can be remedied by the legalization of professional Mixed Martial Arts.
When you research the state of New York, you'll find that the official state motto is "Excelsior," which is Latin for "ever upward." Apparently, this motto doesn't apply to the politicians and special interest groups who make the laws in New York, especially wrinkled and washed-up dinosaurs like Sheldon Silver. 1994 called, Sheldon - they want their bad logic back!