I’ll do a longer post on this later this weekend but I thought it worth a quick post to explain why these ‘major issues’ plaguing the UFC should also concern those of us who are freedom-minded, whether fight fans or not.
The first major issue, about which I have written extensively (see e.g., here, here, and here) is that of the Culinary Union‘s battle to keep mixed martial arts out of New York State (the only remaining state that does not allow it within its borders), as part of a broader strategy due to the Fertitta family’s (the UFC’s main owners are Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta) other business, Station Casinos, being a non-union employer. If not a punitive act, per se, it is, in my opinion, at best a tactic aimed at pressuring the Fertittas into caving — ‘you make sure your 13,000+ Station Casinos go union via card-check process, and we’ll stop telling our powerful politicos in New York State to block mixed martial arts’ legalization, ya’ hear me? Or else…’
Hard to believe these old-school union power plays still exist, much less with such clout and influence. As I’ve noted, any Right-leaning individual weary of Big Labor should take a stand against union thuggery and stand in favor of mixed martial arts’ legalization in NY, if only for this reason alone.
The second major issue is that of fighter pay — one that has crept up into the discussion once again, as it does every few months, this time due to a YouTube video circulating this week, criticizing the UFC for allegedly not paying its fighters enough. (Please note that Luke Thomas, the MMA journalist whose remarks are featured in this video, explained to me today via Twitter that he does not stand by all the remarks in the context in which he was portrayed.)
Fighter pay was an issue ESPN aggressively and, in my opinion, unethically handled during a curiously-edited interview Lorenzo Fertitta granted the network in January 2012, in which ESPN grilled the UFC Chairman about the matter, then edited the final product in a manner that did not completely convey what transpired. The UFC then released the uncut version of the video.
I will try to write a Part 2 to this post explaining why the fighter pay criticism is technically, mathematically incorrect and an unfair attack.
But in the meantime, it is worth noting this is an issue that concerns conservatives overall. (1) Forced (via intense pressure and attacks) profit-sharing, (2) ‘workers unite’ calls for unionization, and (3) complaints that reek of our ‘entitlement society’ claiming that any individual should be paid a certain ‘living wage’ or living amount…
is precisely what conservatives rally against.
Much of what is happening against the UFC is a microcosm of overall Left v. Right debates. It’s imperative that conservatives and libertarians be informed about these current events and make their voices and opinions heard.
If you have any questions about it, please feel free to contact me on Twitter or post a Comment here. I don’t work for the UFC, I’ve never received a dime from the UFC, nor I am not a sports journalist with an axe to grind against the sport. So you can count on me for untainted approach without an agenda or bent.
Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you. As usual, all constructive opinions welcome!