Chris Iorfida of the CBC has penned a thoughtful piece on the death of “Mixed Martial Arts” fighter Tim Hague. It was with great sadness that we learned of this tragedy. There will be an investigation and it’s looking like somebody responsible for the sanctioning of the contest is going to be up against some hard questions but in spite of the grilling, I suggest that the public at large needs to take a hard look at the savagery of these bouts and the appeal they have for their entertainment dollar. When UFC (Ultimate Fighting Challenge) first came out, I was frankly aghast. Call me conceited or pollyannaish but my instinct at the time was, “don’t these people have better things to do than watch their kindred get pummeled? Where have we gone as a society? What are we teaching our children? What would our bona fide soldiers from history think of our sense of amusement toward their means of sacrifice for our liberty?”
I recall sitting in a first year “ethics in sport” university class among fellow idealists of youth while witnessing the result of a poll conducted by our professor. “Who thinks boxing should be outlawed?” The result was overwhelmingly in favor. Appreciably, as Mr. Iorfida points out in his article, there are governing bodies set up with criteria in place for the purpose of ensuring that mismatches do not occur. However; something may have gone awry here and there’s nothing to say that the same outcome could not arise even if competitors are equally matched. I was a big football fan until the evidence started to pour in that men’s lives after football were being detrimentally affected because of the impact of repetitive brain blows. It took a class action law suit for the NFL elites to finally pay attention. I do actually adjust my way of thinking in lieu of facts as they are presented. Hopefully, the market for this kind of thing starts to dry up because of people’s refute of indignity while the aesthetic purity and tight regulatory execution of formal disciplines of “martial arts” thrives.