Amidst all the unconditional love for Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes monologue on Donald Trump’s America, I’ve got a bone to pick with you Meryl. Leave MMA out of it. You made two statements about MMA that could not have been any more inaccurate and ignorant. Let me explain…
First, you claimed Mixed Martial Arts is definitely not an art. MMA is most definitely an art, and one that could be argued to be one of the most pure forms of art, with much less subjectivity than any other.
Arts are defined as…
“the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”
“a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.”
If this doesn’t apply to some of the most dedicated athletes devoting their life to perfecting a skillset in a dozen or more different highly technical martial arts into a combined practice, then I’m not sure what does qualify?
Secondly, you stated that if America kicks out all of its minorities and immigrants “all we will have left is Football and Mixed Martial Arts.” This is one of the most absurd statements I have ever heard and you could not have used a worse example for a racially homogenous sport if you tried. NASCAR or Polo maybe, but MMA? You and/or your speech writer need a bit a of a history lesson, One which I am happy to provide an abbreviated breakdown of.
The idea of mixing martial arts is multi-ethnic and inspired by immigration itself. The first to truly experiment with this was Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kune Do, and coincidentally the son of a Chinese IMMIGRANT to the U.S. and then popularized in the U.S. by a family of Brazilian IMMIGRANTS to the U.S. in the early 1990’s. Since then it has become widely popular worldwide and whose most prominent champions and top contenders hail from Brazil, French Canada, Mexico, Russia, Korea, the Netherlands, the U.K. Croatia, Japan, the Pacific Islands, Cuba, France, Ireland, Poland just to name a few.
The majority of these athletes, in order to train in the best camps, and with top training partners, have IMMIGRATED to the U.S. and now call it home. Mixed Martial Arts will be one of the sports most harmed by xenophobic anti-immigrant policies enacted by the American government.
Who are the other groups who have found a great deal of success and acceptance in MMA? African Americans, women and LBGT athletes. MMA is one of the few sports outside of the Olympics where women’s events have been given the same high profile stage as the men and where multiple openly homosexual athletes have flourished. I’m not sure Trump would be too happy if MMA was the sport left behind in his America.
Lastly, as an MMA gym owner, who has participated in dozens of sports throughout my life, there are two things I can 100 percent attest to about this sport. Firstly, it attracts the most ethnically and culturally diverse group of people I have experienced in any sport. Including men and women of all sexual orientations. It also in my experience attracts some of the most forward thinking and supportive, community minded group of people I’ve encountered. Maybe, just maybe, America needs a little bit more MMA within its borders and we’d all be better off.
So Meryl, as they say, “before you knock it, try it.” And more importantly as an old wise man once said, “Do not speak of things, of which you know nothing about.”
Stick to winning Oscars and Golden Globes and we’ll stick to fighting (and loving each other).
P.S. We do have a $30 for 30 day trial on if you actually want to try it out 😉