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The “Real” Reason NY Doesn’t Have MMA (Editorial)

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden

With the regulation of MMA in Pennsylvania yesterday, and South Dakota last week, along with the expected regulation of MMA in South Carolina in the not too distant future things are look promising for the legalization of MMA in the USA. However, the one major stand out to still have an outright ban on MMA is the state of New York. While the usual scapegoat for the cause of this is ignorance, as some prominent political figures in the State still say that MMA is too violent, Adam Swift of MMAPayout thinks its Unions.

In brief summary, UNITE HERE is embroiled in a bitter struggle to unionize Station Casinos in Las Vegas. Coincidentally, it is also registered to lobby on the subject of Mixed Martial Arts in the state of New York. Disclosure forms show that it has actively lobbied on the topic for the past two years (See reports: here, here, here, and here). In fact outside of the UFC, it is believed to be the only group that has registered to lobby on the subject.

There was recently a poll conducted in New York, which found that 67 percent, of the 438 people that responded to the poll, said they opposed making MMA legal in New York. Apparently this poll was conducted by a Communications firm with ties to the SEIU. The article details what that may mean:

For those unfamiliar with labor politics, the SEIU is one of the largest and most powerful unions in the country. Coincidentally, it is also closely aligned with UNITE HERE. Both are members of the Change to Win Coalition of labor unions and according to Wikipedia have a joint local union chapter in New York called Service Workers United.

Someone paid the group to produce the poll and appears to have had a good idea of how they wanted it to turn out. I doubt a group of outraged citizens of New York is responsible, if such a group were behind it they most surely would have taken credit. Now on the other hand if a labor union were the benefactor, they might have good reason to keep there efforts hush hush.

I suppose that the fact that the poll was handled by a pro-union firm with ties to SEIU and UNITE HERE could be a coincidence. However, considered in light of the other facts and circumstances, I believe the logical conclusion is that opposition from pro-labor forces to the legalization of MMA remains alive and well.

While this may seem a bit like something from a “Conspiracy Theorist” to some, it is important to note that labor unions in New York have a lot of power. For example, it takes up to two years to fire a bad or unqualified teacher there, and said teachers are instead sent to “rubber rooms” where they get paid to sit in a room with several other bad or unqualified teachers all day. That being said, I think he may be on to something.


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