“Staged” Fights Being Examined

In a letter responding to Ralph Nader’s request to examine the practice of “staged or planned fighting” in the NHL — in terms of whether or not it is commercial boxing without a license — the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris responded by agreeing “that the level of violence in hockey games has reached repugnant levels.”   In addition, Harris has forwarded the matter to California’s Department of Consumer Affairs, along with the California State Athletic Commission, in effort to determine if this matter should be addressed by the Commission.

California Bus & Profs. Code Section 18625 defines a “match” or “contest” as follows:

“‘Contest’ and ‘match’ are synonymous, may be used interchangeably, include boxing, kickboxing, and martial arts exhibitions, and mean a fight, prize fight, boxing contest, pugilistic contest, kickboxing contest, martial arts contest or sparring match, between two or more persons, where full or partial contact is used or intended that may result  or is intended to result in physical harm to the opponent…”

Due to an increasing concern for player safety — born of the growing mound of research on brain trauma in general, and concussions in particular — the League of Fans has called for a ban on fighting in the NHL, along with the resignation of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman due to his inaction on the issue.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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