A somewhat bizarre incident from today’s Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting occurred when Culinary Union research analyst and union campaign organizer Chris Serres addressed the governing body to ask them to consider passing an “MMA bill of rights,” similar to the Muhammed Ali Boxing Reform Act.
Serres, whose union is currently embroiled in a publicized work and pay dispute with the Fertitta-owned Station Casinos in Las Vegas and has spearheaded several of the labor group’s smear campaigns against the promotion, spoke to the commission today under the guise that he was approached to do so by “an anonymous group of fighters and managers.” It’s more likely that the move was simply just another shot fired in the war between Unite Here! and the Fertittas.
In the past the Culinary Union has contributed to the election campaign of New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly — a staunch opposer of MMA in the Empire State.
Commission reps told Serres, a former reporter with the Minnesota Star Tribune, that they appreciate his concern on the matter and that if they find anything in the draft of the document he presented them that could better help them in regulating the sport in the future, they will take a closer look at it.
The question is, should a group with no vested interest in the sport and with an obvious axe to grind with the UFC be allowed to lobby the government to put more stringent laws in place that will negatively affect the way the promotion does business?
If it is allowed, what’s to stop groups like the UFC from following suit and asking that NSAC put more laws in place to control things like boxing purses? It’s a slippery slope they’re treading with an issue like this.
Attached is the complete transcription of Serres’ presentation to NSAC that calls for such things as freedom of association, a fair portion of revenues and the creation of a universally accepted ranking body among other things, including the right to join a union such as the one they represent. Ulterior motives, anyone?