To me this is appalling and wrong on so many levels. I'll try to characterize some of those levels:
The assumption that this is going to replace gun violence by providing an outlet to people prone to being perpetrators and victims is laughable. Gang and crime-related gun violence doesn't occur in a consenting controlled manner. People are usually caught by surprise and shot often times in the back when someone dislikes them or wants them dead. Thinking that both parties would instead choose to get into a 12'x12' ring and duke it out as preferred way to settle their differences (or conduct robbery) is an assumption of no merit or proof. In fact it is stupid.
Observing the contestants and the audience in this film begs the question as to whether this will ultimately INCREASE gang-related violence by giving rise to public assembly where these elements may actually come in contact with one another MORE frequently. On top of the issues that arise naturally from grouping convicted criminals together, the problem is amplified by the testosterone fervor created in a fight-watching environment, and the "need for respect" that is so important to many people in this group of society.
The rationalization given by those being interviewed is "these guys know nothing else but fighting" and that "they've never seen a $100 bill" are weak justifications at best. If all they know is fighting, shouldn't they instead invest their time into something that will help them make a positive contribution to society, and possibly participate in the economic blessings of a free country? Perhaps forming entreprenurial workshops, and learning how to use computers and library services would be far more beneficial in the long run than making a few hundred dollars if you win a fight in a backyard. I know, that sounds pretty far-fetched, but even forming a work crew that does landscaping for businesses is a possible example of using resources to fill a need for society and earn legitimate money while doing so. Could it be that possibly their fighting/killer instinct was part of the root cause for their previous bout with incarceration? I would argue that breaking the cycle of "I'm just a ghetto victim and shall always be there" mentality, passed down from generation to generation would benefit them far more that a few hundred dollars today.
A few hundred dollars is what it costs just to set foot in a medical facility.......if you're the one paying for it. If a man earns $400 or so for beating another guy to a pulp, and then goes to get his broken rib, broken eye-socket, broken knuckles, blown knee, cut face, or any other common injury the winner of a brawl may regularly receive, the cost of his health care far exceeds the winnings he recieves. And his injury may well take him out of the "able-bodied worker" category to perform actual work for an actual paycheck.
Will they start a women's league? Enough said on that one.
What happens when the untrained referee allows a fight to go too long and someone gets really hurt or dies? How many people will be responsible for the death? The fighter, the ref, the organizer, Mom for letting it go on in her backyard? Wow, that is a lot of collateral damage as a result of using untrained fighter with no protective gear, and untrained refs to officiate. Do they even use waivers limiting liability? I doubt it.
If they truly want to be fighters, as atheletes, that is great. That is a productive contribution to the industry of sports and the paying spectators that want to watch. Fighting like this is a poor excuse for anything. The promoters will be the only ones making out good on it, and of course the illegal gambling bookies that run bets on the fight. And this will undoubtedly breed fixed fights and rip-offs. Drug dealers and prostitutes will enjoy a target market gathered in one place to conduct their transactions. And of course, this will totally tank the property values of the neighborhoods it is taking place within, which will impact non-participating parties in a big way. When they said "even the police come watch the fights" they were severely mistaken. The police are there because it is a high-risk location for trouble.
This whole thing is a crock of shit and reflects poorly on all those involved. I love to see fights when they are sanctioned and well-managed sporting events. This is nothing of that sort. If people want a good 'ole fashioned alternative to shooting each other, perhaps they could hold arm wrestling contests. I'm not for one minute dooped by the weak arguments this video made justifying this activity.
Last edited by MLD; 04-02-2009 at 05:24 PM.
Reason: Fixed typos.