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Old 02-27-2013, 05:15 PM
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Default SD Senator seeks to ban MMA, calls it 'child porn of sports'

outh Dakota is one of the last remaining states that does not regulate mixed martial arts. Like Montana and Alaska it's a state with no athletic commission rather than a state with an explicit MMA ban. All of that may change very soon.

First there's an effort led by state senator Mark Johnston to create a commission to regulate boxing and MMA. The Argus Leader reports:
Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, and others support creating a South Dakota Athletic Commission that would regulate sports such as boxing, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts. South Dakota has no such commission, meaning those events either avoid the state or happen without oversight.

The result, Johnston argues, is people getting hurt or even killed fighting in unsanctioned bouts. The athletic commission created in Senate Bill 84 would be able to create rules.
Unfortunately, there's opposition, including from the Governor:
But Gov. Dennis Daugaard and others say the athletic commission would legitimize these violent sports and lead to more, not fewer, people getting hurt.

"I'm offended that the state would legitimize cage-fighting and the bloody violence that those kinds of spectacles create," Daugaard said in January. "I think it's interesting that we declare that it is a crime for one human being to strike another, and yet the state now proceeds to legitimize, and label a sport, cage-fighting."
But no one is going quite as overboard as Johnston's fellow Republican, state rep. Steve Hickey who penned the following in a blog post:
The conversation on violence in society has to start somewhere so why not with our most violent sport or form of entertainment? Decent and civil societies have to draw the line somewhere; with smoking we draw the line after tobacco and before pot; with "adult entertainment" we draw the line at child porn. With violent combative "sports" I suggest we draw the line at cage fighting. The line should be drawn after boxing, wresting and legitimate martial arts. They are violent too but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) or "cage fighting" is over that line - in fact, even the martial arts people I talk to tell me they hate cage fighting because it is a smear on legitimate martial arts.

MMA Cage Fighting is the child porn of sports. The psychological community will tell you that desensitization to violence works exactly like desensitization to porn. You know how porn progresses... a peek at topless isn't enough, it all has to come off, then a pic is not enough... it goes to video then to virtual and then to the devaluation and mistreatment of women, human trafficking and sex crimes against women. Violence works the same way. Boxing wasn't enough so they took the gloves off, then they allowed kicking, kneeing people in the head, then elbows to the face, then they put a cage around it. The point is to knock the other guy unconscious while pay per view crowds cheer it on. Why not nunchucks? In Rome they'd gather in colosseums and bring out prisoners and entertain themselves by making them fight to the death. That wasn't enough so they brought out the helpless and the hated and brought in the hungry lions. Crowds cheered.

In South Dakota this week there is a bill, Senate Bill 84, which is an attempt to legitimize cage fighting in South Dakota. It's billed as "economic development." If that's all we can come up with for economic development we are in trouble. And our decisions on our tolerance for things violent shouldn't be about money. If we want to attract dirty and bloody money why not legalize prostitution or bring back the gladiators? We need to stop and think about why two governors in our state have been reticent to appoint people to a boxing/MMA commission.
Hopefully Sen. Johnston can win the fight against hysteria and anti-MMA predjudice in South Dakota.
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