Joe Brolly has some very controversial things to say about MMA and violent sports
He thinks it's time to ban violent sports.
Following the tragic death of Joao Carvalho in Dublin last week, there have been questions raised about the safety of combat sports and, in his Sunday Independent column, RTE pundit Joe Brolly has had some controversial things to say.
Here are his views on;
The tragic death of Joao Carvalho and MMA.
Is it good enough that a young man be beaten to death in a cage for our amusement?" he wrote.
"Is it good enough that as he begins the slow process of dying, lying on the canvas like a tranquillised cow in the abattoir, Conor McGreogr, our most famous sportsman, is giving high fives all around, laughing, and beating his chest? Is it?"
Boxing and his belief that people seek out violence to watch.
"Something deep in us thrills to serious violence," he said in the Sunday Independent. "Up to the end of the 19th century, public executions were the premier spectator sport in England. When Henry Fauntleroy was hanged a Newgate in 1824, the crowd was estimated at 100,000. If a smart promoter like Barry Hearn had been alive then, he'd have hired Michael Buffer to say, "Let's get ready to haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang..." and get a half-naked dolly bird to hold up notices between executions.
"The violent professional sports lobby reacts violently to criticism, like the US gun lobby. When the young Welsh boxer Johnny Owen died in the ring, Hugh McIlvanney, one of those great writers who mythologises fighting, said, 'It is his tragedy that he found himself articulate in such a violent language.'
"As though nothing could've been done about it. He was f**king dead, Hugh. Dead! Do you comprehend what that means? For him. For his family "The face that there are young men with violent tendencies is neither here nor there."
The concept that violence is a 'rich man's play thing'.
"If an American hedge fund started 'Ultimate Combat' where the fighters use weapons and the battle is to the death, we'd have a queue of men wanting to sign up. It's already been done, in Ancient Rome. The new sport would sweep the planet. We'd all be glued to our screens. PPVs would break all records. Young men would die. But, hey, it's their tragedy if they find themselves articulate in such a dangerous language.
"The truth is that violent sports are a rich man's play thing, where poor men try to put each other into a coma for our amusement
"These violent life-an-death sports are fun. They bring us to somewhere primitive inside us. It is why the spectators in the Colosseum gasped and cheered as the knife was thrust home".
"The law permits it. And it shouldn't. Time to ban these violent pro sports. Sometimes, human beings have to be protected from themselves."