By Josh Stein on May 08, 2009
New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly looks like he’s going to have to do some backtracking.
MMAPayout seems to have caught him with his financial records a little too out in the open. Reilly denied knowing of a New York based organization with ties to Las Vegas. The organization, Unite Here, actually seems to know Reilly pretty well, as they contributed a good deal of money to his campaign. CagePotato went into a little detail as well . For those who don’t get the connection: Station Casinos, run by the Fertittas, is a non-union organization, and this has fueled much of the opposition in New York, where unions have a very tight hold.
Reilly has long been the figurehead opposing legalization in New York state.
What annoys me with Reilly, and what has for some time, is not simply his hypocrisy, but also his arrogance, ignorance and complete inability to put together any sort of coherent argument.
USAToday has a pretty interesting series of statements from Reilly , as well as the common rebuttles (supplied by Keith Kizer, Josh Barnett, Kenny Florian, Big John McCarthy and Dana White). Reilly’s statements are so idiotic that they need no rebuttle. They lack any sort of grounding in principle, logic or fact. Reilly doesn’t present a single study supporting his finding.
You’re welcome to judge Reilly’s comments for yourself.
I had a police officer in my officer yesterday for another purpose. I said, ‘Let me ask you something off the subject — what do you think of ultimate fighting?’ He said, ‘Oh, it’s horrible. We have kids imitating this already. It’s a real problem. – Bob Reilly
Of course, this is an old and played out argument. It’s less grounded in fact that the “it’s bad for the fighters argument,” because it’s based in a sense of puritanism that requires the banning of everything from Grand Theft Auto to rap to the Godfather, but Reilly ignores that repurcussion. Why? Because he’s a twit, but mostly because his opposition to the sport seems to be purely for his own campaign. Though, we’ll see how this money issue plays out.
But, to show that he’s a good guy, Reilly says his stand against MMA is also a stand against domestic violence.
I think here, as a legislator, I cannot speak against domestic violence, against bullying in school, trying to tell children not to be violent, but say that it’s all right for these adults to get in the cage and do this activity, but don’t you do it. To me, that’s just contradictory.
USAToday keenly points out that the parties competing in MMA are consenting adults. Though it’s also worth mentioning that they’re professional athletes with training in martial competencies. Reilly regularly ignores this point, but lets it slip in his response.
There are very many people who would put even their lives in danger for a million dollars. There are a group of people, trained athletes, who enjoy this activity, want to fight and want to make money. Most of the promoters and other people — mainly from Las Vegas, that’s where the hub of this is — who in fact support this were once people who were opposed to it.”
Now, this is the golden nugget of the interview, as it’s a clear shift in gears from the athletes to an attempt (and a poor one) at an ad hominem against the promoters.
Despite the fact that the statement is idiotic, it shows how willing Reilly is to completely ignore the criticisms of his position so he can make a point.
What strikes me is that if you read the first two sentences of this comment, it reads like a bit of support for mixed martial arts. That said, he immediately switches from “a group of people, trained athletes, who enjoy this activity [and] want to fight and make money” to and attack on “most of the promoters and other people. It’s bizarre, and I’ve seen more coherent statements from the most dim Miss America contestants.
Anyway, Reilly addresses the safety component, poorly, and many other issues in the piece at USAToday. I certainly hope the rest of his bull is as apparent to you as it is to me.
Filed Under: MMA
About the Author: Joshua Stein is a writer and editor for MMA Opinion. He has worked as a photographer and journalist and has a number of print journalism credits. He also works as a moderator for MMAForum.com and a grappling columnist (covering judo, collegiate wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling) for profighting-fans.com.