Hell might have just frozen over, as New York on Tuesday became the final state in the U.S. to legalize mixed martial arts.
While the bill to legalize MMA in New York (S05949A)has passed the State Senate for the past seven years, prior to 2016, it had never gotten to the Assembly floor for a vote. It finally found passage through the necessary committees – the Tourism, Arts, Parks and Sports Development Committee; the Codes Committee; the Ways and Means Committee; and the Rules Committee – before moving to the Assembly floor.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee spoke out against passage of the bill, encouraging her peers to join her in voting to continue the ban on MMA. Hon. Charles Barron joined her, vehemently arguing that “this sport should remain banned.” Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morrelle argued in favor of the bill’s passage; as did Hon. Dean Murray, who vouched for the professionalism that he has witnessed in mixed martial arts, but also argued about the dangers of not having proper oversight at events.
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The arguments by the few against the bill were wide-ranging, likening MMA to slavery, questioning how the bill to legalize MMA would stop child sex offenders from assaulting children, and calling it much more violent that boxing, football, or other professional sports.
Murray closed his argument for the bill with a passionate, “It is time to legalize mixed martial arts in the State of New York,” and that is what happened.
When the votes were tallied, the bill to legalize mixed martial arts in New York passed the State Assembly with 113 voting for the bill and 25 voting against it.
The bill still needs Gov. Andrew ….View full article