UFC lawsuit to answer, Is MMA art?

by Joe Palazzolo | source: wsj.com
 

It’s called mixed martial arts for a reason.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sport’s largest promoter, is suing to overturn New York’s ban on live bouts, saying the 1997 law runs roughshod over its freedom of expression, a novel argument that likens MMA to live ballet, music or theater.

“Live professional MMA is clearly intended and understood as public entertainment and, as such, is expressive activity protected by the First Amendment,” the lawsuit said.

While the arts are protected, no court has ever directly confronted the question of whether athletes have a First Amendment right to be seen in action, said Barry Friedman, a professor at New York University School of Law, who is representing the plaintiffs.

“This is the first time to my knowledge that a professional athlete is claiming a First Amendment right to communicate with fans in a live event,” said Friedman.

The courts needn’t declare all sports protected by the First Amendment, because MMA — which, as the name suggests, draws on a mosaic of different fighting styles — is special, Friedman said.

“It’s martial artistry,” he said. “The nature of martial arts is a lot like dancing.”

“As is true of ballet, music, or theater, for an audience, attending a live MMA event is an experience that cannot be replicated on a screen," according the complaint.

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tags: UFC   Legislation   regulation   



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Recent Comments »

JerodR site profile image  

11/17/11 6:03 PM by JerodR

Wow.. That whole lawsuit is a thing of art. Seriously, they have set up a very good arguement and a all around loss for New York. If they do not legalize it then they are going to look very...very bad.

JerodR site profile image  

11/17/11 6:03 PM by JerodR

Wow.. That whole lawsuit is a thing of art. Seriously, they have set up a very good arguement and a all around loss for New York. If they do not legalize it then they are going to look very...very bad.

sevr1 site profile image  

11/17/11 5:51 PM by sevr1

Thanks! When I saw it was based on constitutional issues, I thought, "That'll never happen". But now that I see some of the arguements, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Not that I think it'll be overturned, but it'll at least be interesting to see what the reasoning is.  

sevr1 site profile image  

11/17/11 5:51 PM by sevr1

Thanks! When I saw it was based on constitutional issues, I thought, "That'll never happen". But now that I see some of the arguements, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Not that I think it'll be overturned, but it'll at least be interesting to see what the reasoning is.  

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:07 AM by chris80cent

This also

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:07 AM by chris80cent

This also

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:06 AM by chris80cent

I gotta agree. MMA is like a art. I wouldn't consider it a martial art, but mma is a art in itself. Peace

chris80cent site profile image  

11/17/11 11:06 AM by chris80cent

I gotta agree. MMA is like a art. I wouldn't consider it a martial art, but mma is a art in itself. Peace

gatorlaw site profile image  

11/17/11 10:51 AM by gatorlaw

Thanks Caps. I agree that they have some very strong and novel arguments, but cases based upon constitutional challenges are notoriously difficult to win. I'll definitely be crossing my fingers.

gatorlaw site profile image  

11/17/11 10:51 AM by gatorlaw

Thanks Caps. I agree that they have some very strong and novel arguments, but cases based upon constitutional challenges are notoriously difficult to win. I'll definitely be crossing my fingers.



 

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