While a fan of basketball and boxing, I do not write about sports often. I made an exception for the Guardian and the deplorable labor conditions in mixed-martial arts.
My interest in mixed-martial arts has waned as its terrible pay and exploitation of fighters, who have no conceivable hope to get post-career support for injuries they got in competition, has become impossible to reconcile. Even boxers receive considerably better pay and protection. I argue legislative intervention, where promoters shirk such duty, is required.
While most of my current writing covers media, politics and culture, sports is part of the culture, and this was important to cover. You can read the piece here.
BONUS: Radio host Eddie Goldman, “the conscience of MMA media,” and I had an extensive conversation on his radio show about this piece, labor organizing, athlete pay, sponsorships and how MMA promoters cultivate matches where the risk of injury goes up, and pollute the fan base to such contests. Fair warning, I repeat often that it’s time for fans to speak up and lawmakers to get involved.
Eddie Goldman’s a great guy, an alum of WBAI, the New York City station of the network I work for no less. How often does a sports program cover CLR James? Worth a listen, fan or no.