You might recall that, amidst all the kerfuffle of visa and fighter licensing issues that threatened to derail the UFC’s trip to Boston for their FS1 network debut, city councilor Steven Murphy filed a resolution to ban minors from attending MMA fights. Backed by the Culinary Union’s “But Think of the Children!” division, Murphy’s bill argued that “extensive research has associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for children and adolescents, including aggressive and violent behavior, bullying, desensitization to violence, fear and depression.” That’s right, Murphy’s “extensively researched” argument boiled down a laughable criminal defense usually seen on an episode of Law & Order.
“You see, it was the video game that made my client go on a shooting spree! He couldn’t tell the difference between reality and virtual reality because VICE CITY BRAINWASHED HIS FRAGILE, INNOCENT MIND.”
Yes, despite the UFC’s fervent efforts to support the anti-bullying movement, it’s an organization that, according to Murphy, lacks proper role models like say, Aaron Hernandez. As one would expect in a society that absolutely refuses to place any responsibility or blame for a child’s behavior on the parents, the bill passed unanimously this afternoon, stating “children under the age of 16 years old be prohibited from attending live amateur and professional cage fighting events in the City of Boston unless accompanied by an adult.”
You know the deal. Roll that beautiful bean footage…
Murphy’s original resolution called for the banning of any person under 18 from UFC events, so this neutered bill probably isn’t the home run he was hoping for. On the other side of the coin, the passing of the bill represents yet another step back in the “MMA is not a barbaric sport watched by skinhead heathens” debate.
The main problem with this bill is that it seems to operate under the assumption that the impact of MMA’s inherent violence is somehow heightened when witnessed live (or that children can only gain access to MMA content in a live setting). Without going down the “Why not ban violent movies and video games altogether?” rabbit hole, it’s safe to say that Murphy’s argument is fundamentally flawed. Placing the blame/responsibility on anyone but the individual has become standard operation nowadays, and this bill only enforces it.
Dana White’s reaction (via USA Today) was as you’d expect, although he managed to go almost three sentences without dropping an F-bomb in the process. Way to subvert the stereotype, DW!
This Murphy guy. You elect a politician to hopefully go out and bring in jobs, create revenue in your city, bring in events that bring revenue to your city. This guy comes out and he’s saying all this (bleeping) stuff like ’18 and under’ (not allowed at the event) and all this other stuff they’re doing to us. Then sure enough, this hearing, 25 of the Culinary Union members are there. And this guy busts out a video of Chael Sonnen talking about Anderson Silva in Brazil. First of all, this is the fight business. This isn’t the nice business. This is the fight business.
Yes, Kate. Wicked stupid, indeed.