Petition for a Federal Oversight Committee For Professional Boxing in the USA:
The medical community has argued that professional boxing is the most dangerous sport in the world. Unlike other contact sports such as football, hockey and lacrosse whose aim is to score a touchdown or goal, the ultimate goal of boxing is to knock an opponent unconscious, thus giving them a concussion. Given its dangers, some countries saw boxing as a form of self defense as opposed to being a sport and consequently banned competition at both the amateur and professional levels. To add insult to injury, the business of professional boxing has been lampooned by many including journalist Jimmy Cannon who called it the “Red Light District of Sports” given its gross lack of regulation and history of fighters being manipulated and exploited by organized crime, unscrupulous promoters, managers and other administrators of the game.
Yet in light of all these facts, professional boxing has been allowed to fly under the radar, which has resulted in fighters having their health, boxing records, and finances exploited. Although State Boxing Commissions have been put in place to look out for fighters, they have been widely criticized as being incapable of objectively protecting fighters given their conflict of interest over revenues that big fights generate for the state.
Renowned boxing trainer and ESPN television commentator, Teddy Atlas says “There’s money to be made in the casino business, but there is an oversight board to make sure there is no corruption. In professional baseball, football, and basketball, there are commissions in place. There are policies in place that make sure they look out for the betterment of the entire sport. There’s no oversight board in boxing. There’s no commission. There’s no national commission. No federal guidelines. Nobody looking and saying, ‘Ah, can’t do that! Oh, can’t do that! You can’t be in charge! Promoter can’t be in charge of who the judges are going to be! No, of course you want these judges. You can’t be in charge; we’re in charge. We’re going to oversee it, we’re going to police it, we’re going to make sure that there’s no corruption.’ There’s nothing. Fighters are warriors; they are brave men and they give a lot of themselves in that ring and don’t always leave the ring the same person.”
Clearly, professional boxing is in dire need and long overdue for an independent Federal Boxing Commission. But of course a Federal Oversight Committee is the last thing the power brokers in boxing would ever want and have strongly resisted given it would severely alter the way they currently and very profitably do business.
Teddy Atlas has stated that it came close to having one, but blames Senator Harry Reid for playing a role in blocking its institution given that Power Brokers Bob Arum and Don King (men whose business dealings have come under the scrutiny of federal authorities) donated to his campaign and were against it out of concern that it would interfere with their stranglehold of the business.
“Don’t talk about Harry Reid,” Teddy said angrily. “That’s the same guy out in Nevada that when John McCain was trying to pass a National Boxing Bill and he couldn’t get it past either the House or Senate, he was one of the guys giving McCain problems, standing in the way. Was it a coincidence that he also happened to get campaign contributions from (Bob) Arum and (Don) King? Oh yeah, I guess so. I guess so. I don’t want to hear that guy’s name.”
Although professional boxing is replete with bad decisions by judges who are handpicked by promoters, exploitation of fighters’ purses by managers and promoters, opportunities derailed by both judges and promoters - the exploitation and lack of protection of a fighter’s health in the world’s most dangerous sport is totally unconscionable and thus urgently demands the need for changes in both current regulations and the institution of a Federal Oversight Committee.
As we stated in other videos, medical research has shown there is a link between between blows to the head and progressive neurological disorders such as CTE and Parkinson’s Disease. Consequently, contact sports athletes have a higher incidence of these diseases than non-contact sports athletes. To responsibly reduce the incidence of these diseases, certain guidelines must be instituted and enforced to both protect our fighters and also make boxing a safer sport for future generations. This calls for collaboration between medical students, physicians, coaches, fighters, parents, fans, promoters, managers, and others to make boxing safer for its fighters and also a Federal Oversight committee to see that rules and laws are strictly enforced.
But it won’t be easy friends. The institution of a Federal Oversight Committee has met resistance and failed numerous times in the past. However, we live in different times with social media - where your voice finally counts! If Barack Obama and Donald Trump can come out of nowhere and win the Presidency of The United States through the power of social media and persistent organized effort - then the institution of a Federal Oversight Committee to protect fighters can surely be accomplished.
But we cannot do it without you!
In our fight against progressive neurological disorders in contact sports, please make your voice heard and sign our petition for the institution of a Federal Oversight Commission for Professional Boxing by filling out your name, address, email and any comments you have in the form below below. And of course please pass this message to others so that it virally spreads throughout all communities.
You can check on the status of this petition on our petition page where we will provide you with continued updates on our fight to get this passed!