The mayor replied that some parents just don't know what's good for their kids. He'd heard that MMA is unsafe.
It's not surprising that he'd heard that, since predictably, the media hypes every danger.
"Good Morning America" aired a clip of pediatrician Lisa Thornton saying, "it is dangerous from a physical standpoint. It can lead to significant injuries to the neck and to the bones."
MMA could injure, of course, but a study from Johns Hopkins found that "the injury rate in MMA competitions is compatible with other combat sports," and, in fact, "the lower knockout rates compared to boxing may help prevent brain injury."
No sport is injury free. Over six years, 77 kids died after being hit in the chest with baseballs. Every year hundreds die riding bikes. No one has yet gathered comparative statistics on the risk of MMA, but even cheerleading sends 25,000 kids to hospital emergency rooms.
When I said that to Mayor Correia, he replied, "That logic would say, Well, let's now add another 25,000 in mixed martial arts. That's OK?"
Parents aren't responsible enough? The politicians need to make these decisions for them?
He replied, "Parents do have a chance to decide that through their elected officers. That's what a democracy is all about."
Really? I had no idea democracy was about voting on who gets to tell you how to raise your kids.
Give me a break!