NY pol sex scandal keeping MMA out of NY State?


The road to regulation of Mixed Martial Arts in New York state has proven to be a long one, and despite extraordinary efforts by fans and the UFC, it may be a little longer still.

Now there are reports that the failure of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to pass the MMA bill despite widespread support for the bill is due to his mishandling of the sexual harassment scandal around fellow Dem Vito Lopez (Brooklyn).

Kenneth Lovett from the NY Daily News has the story.

The drive to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York is likely to become a new casualty of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.

Women’s groups that have long opposed the sport, calling it sexist and barbaric, are upset at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his mishandling of sexual harassment complaints against Lopez.

A source close to Silver said passing a mixed martial arts law now might further inflame the women’s groups — as well as exacerbate tensions between Silver and several assemblywomen that have developed since the scandal.

“I don’t think this is the year,” the source said. “I think it’s unlikely.”

Lopez (D-Brooklyn) resigned from the Assembly last week after two investigations accused him of inappropriate conduct toward eight female staffers.

The investigations also faulted Silver (D-Manhattan), finding that he signed off on a secret $103,000 settlement to two of the women rather than refer their harassment complaints to an ethics committee, as required by Assembly rules.

New York and Connecticut remain the only two states that ban MMA. The state Senate has repeatedly voted to legalize the sport, only to see the Legislation die in the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

During a closed-door discussion last year, Silver cut off debate and called it a draw even though the bulk of those who spoke supported the bill, sources said. The bill never reached the floor for a vote.

But promoters of the controversial sport seemed to be making headway this year in getting New York to lift its ban, especially after Gov. Cuomo said in March that “It’s something we’re looking at as a possible source of revenue.”

Silver is expected to discuss the matter with his Democratic members next week. “The question is does he do what he did last year or does he play it straight?” said one MMA supporter.

One factor may be that opponents feel more strongly about the issue than supporters, sources said. Some of those opponents are close to Silver, such as Assemblywoman Deborah Glick of Manhattan.

Read entire article...


tags: Legislation   regulation   New York   


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Recent Comments »

siouxNYC site profile image  

5/29/13 9:21 AM by siouxNYC

I disagree. You can't base attendance and buzz on how the NJ shows do, even the ones in Newark. The first UFC at MSG would be huge, and if it had a monumental fight like Jones/Silva, it would be massive. The mainstream media push alone would be out of this world.Think about it: a crappy amateur card featuring nobodies at Hammerstein Ballroom in Midtown attracted 1,500 spectators. How much love do you think a big UFC would get?

Bobby Lupo site profile image  

5/29/13 8:28 AM by Bobby Lupo

While those other places are cute and all; they're not NY. The media isn't headquartered in those other places, they don't have MSG and Yankee stadium. If you make it in NY, you're legit. Otherwise, big fish in a small pond

Kneeblock site profile image  

5/29/13 8:10 AM by Kneeblock

I live in NY too and absolutely nothing is going south here. Let's not get crazy. Jones-Silva would not sell out the Garden unless it was the first show at the Garden. Based on the Jersey shows, I'm convinced of it. And also, let's not pretend MSG isn't a fading relic of sports importance. It's crumbling in places and looks pretty shabby compared to other venues. Personally I'd prefer an outdoor UFC at Yankee Stadium or Citifield any day.

Capslock17ny site profile image  

5/28/13 9:28 PM by Capslock17ny

In addition, Madison Square Garden is the single most storied indoor sports venue in all of America. You pick any indoor American sport, and at least one of their top 10 events were in MSG. For combat sports in particular, MSG and the larger Vegas arenas are where you go to have those once-in-a-decade events (Jones-Silva, etc.)For someone who seems to be an MMA fan, you seem to miss the idea that Jones-Silva in MSG would be the biggest fight in the history of the entire sport. They COULD have it in Vegas, but if MMA was legal in New York today, that fight would be booked by the end of the week. I live in New York. New York is a flailing economy, with insane rises in cost-of-living and constant issues in all aspects, from Wall Street, to natural disasters, just about everything is going south here. However, Madison Square Garden is still the mecca of combat sports locations.There's too much history there, and a good NYC card could do more for the sport of MMA than Forrest/Bonnar did. The UFC knows this, so they're pushing for it. I personally think there are plenty of great cities and venues out there, but they're not Fenway Park, or Yankee Stadium, or Lambeau Field. Madison Square Garden is legendary, and that matters more than you think.

HexRei site profile image  

5/28/13 8:40 PM by HexRei

It signifies a lot of money changing hands due to exchange of goods and services, which is great for businesses, especially entertainment businesses. There's a reason Broadway is in NYC and not the middle of Wyoming.

Michael Chase site profile image  

5/28/13 8:40 PM by Michael Chase

No, your argument makes total sense.These other sports are ancient in comparison, but MMA is being more progressive than anything else.

3 Sided Square site profile image  

5/28/13 8:37 PM by 3 Sided Square

Rape choke.

TheVileOne site profile image  

5/28/13 8:34 PM by TheVileOne

MMA is now regulated in 48 US states. That wasn't the case 5 years ago. NY is inevitable at some point.

KingofBJJ site profile image  

5/28/13 8:33 PM by KingofBJJ

Okay GDP doesn't equate to money in your pocket, that is only a tool Economists use to judge a nation's overall ability to be productive. So do you want to try again?

HexRei site profile image  

5/28/13 7:44 PM by HexRei

There are three states (of the fifty) that together generate a disproportionate amount of America's total GDP, about one third. The UFC already has events in California and Texas... think about it.