Sunday, August 04, 2013

Mixed martial arts: SAY NO TO UFC and UNFIT FOR CHILDREN
SAY NO TO UFC website

Cage fighting (also known as “ultimate fighting” or “mixed-martial arts”) is an extremely violent form of entertainment, in which athletes punch, kick, elbow and choke each other from inside cages and before live audiences.
Cage fighters at the amateur and professional levels have competed in public stadiums and on television bearing Neo-Nazi messages in their tattoos or on their clothing.
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, de-sensitization to violence, fear, and depression.
Studies have found that repeatedly exposing children to violent media is a risk factor for increases in aggression later in life, even into adulthood.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the leading promoter of professional cage fighting events worldwide, markets cage fighting to children through toys, video games, clothing and gym classes; and facilitates fighters’ interactions with adolescents.
UFC fighters have joked about rape or used foul and abusive language that is particularly demeaning to women. UFC fighters and company representatives have used homophobic slurs and other insults that are hurtful and offensive to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Producers of alcohol products have sponsored professional cage fighting promoters, with logos of popular alcohol brands prominently featured at the center of cage fighting areas and at public press conferences.
Therefore, children should not be permitted to attend live cage fighting events as spectators. We, the undersigned, demand that children under the age of 18 be prohibited from attending live amateur and professional cage fighting events in the City of Boston.

France Says “Non!” to Las Vegas UFC-Style Cage Fighting

The French Sports Ministry, which is headed by Valérie Fourneyron, reconfirmed recently the country’s ban on mixed martial arts (“MMA”), stalling for now hopes that UFC-style cage fighting events will become legal in France.
Responding to a question from a Deputy of the National Assembly, the Sports Ministry stated on July 2: “Free Fight, or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), takes place inside a cage and allows strikes against the opponent while on the ground. The policy of the Ministry has not changed and remains clear. The practice of MMA is not allowed and its events/shows are not permitted.”
The ban was reconfirmed despite lobbying of the French government by Zuffa LLC of Las Vegas, whose Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) promotes violent spectacles of “free fighting” or “cage fighting” (so-called “mixed martial arts”). Last year, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta called France a “massive opportunity” and said he was “encouraged that you’ll be eating croissants watching the UFC pretty soon.”
Carole Bretteville, President of the Women's Committee for Federation Francaise du Sportd'Entreprise(“FFSE”), applauded the Ministry’s response. “France works very hard to promote equality in all aspects of life, especially in sports,” said Bretteville. “FFSE promotes sport as a unifying force, where management and employees together benefit from shared recreation activities. I was appalled to find out how UFC was lobbying in France, especially when UNITE HERE informed me how UFC has tolerated derogatory statements and attitudes against women. We cannot allow such an organization to destroy all the work we have done to promote equality through French sports. I applaud the Minister’s courage to reject free fighting in France.”
UNITE HERE’s European Development Director Blake Harwell said: “We were not surprised. European attitudes toward such bloody displays date back centuries. Add in the anti-social issues and I'd say Zuffa and the IMMAF have a long way to go to make MMA palatable. No matter what name they call it, cage fighting still fails to meet European expectations for what counts as sport.”

UNITE HERE: U.S. Marine Corps did not renew sponsorship of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
LAS VEGAS, Dec 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After a nationwide public outcry, the U.S. Marine Corps did not renew its sponsorship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the Las Vegas-based promoter of cage fighting events.
"We applaud the Marine Corps for taking this important step that respects the dignity of our men and women in uniform," said Beatriz Topete, a U.S. Army veteran and director of the Veterans Committee of UNITE HERE, a labor union that represents more than 250,000 workers in the hospitality industry in North America. "We believe it is time for other sponsors to follow the lead of the Marine Corps and sever all ties with the UFC."
The decision by the Marine Corps follows months of outrage and media attention. Military veterans, LGBTQ activists and survivors of sexual assault publicly called on the Marine Corps to sever its ties with the UFC over violent, homophobic, misogynistic and otherwise socially irresponsible remarks made by UFC fighters and its president, Dana White.
The campaign to end the UFC-Marine Corps partnership was supported by more than two dozen state and national organizations. They included the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Protect Our Defenders, National Institute of Military Justice, Veterans For Common Sense, Veterans For Peace, Veterans United For Truth, Women in the Military Project, and Sanctuary Project Veterans, as well as individual survivors of military sexual assault.
"This action by the Marine Corps is a step in the right direction. Military culture for too long has permitted degrading, violent and hate-filled speech and behavior towards men and women," said Nancy Parrish, President of Protect Our Defenders, a national group that advocates for survivors of military sexual assault.
Popular UFC fighters have joked about rape on their public Twitter accounts, and made remarks that are demeaning towards women, gays and Latinos. In a disturbing video published in April on YouTube, UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson pretends to sexually assault a woman in a parking garage using chloroform and zip ties. Jackson is scheduled to fight on the "UFC on FOX 6" event on Jan. 26th.
Other sponsors or business partners of the UFC include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Edge Shaving Gel, Electronic Arts, FOX, Harley-Davidson Inc., MetroPCS Communications, MusclePharm SafeAuto, Toyo Tires, TapouT, and XYIENCE Energy.

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