Joe Brolly Wants To Ban All Combat Sports

Joe Brolly Wants To Ban All Combat Sports
By PJ Browne Updated

On Monday night, Portuguese MMA fighter Joao Carvalho passed away at Beaumont hospital. Two days previous, at the National Stadium, the 28-year-old fought and lost - via TKO - to Irishman Charlie Ward.

Shortly after the fight, Carvalho was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Tragically, he would not survive.

Carvalho's death has provoked the penning of numerous opinion pieces regarding the legitimacy of MMA as a sport. Today's papers are full of them - including one from Joe Brolly in the Sunday Independent.

In summary, it's not just MMA that Brolly wants banned - it is all combat sports.

At one time in his life, Brolly 'loved' boxing. However, his adoration of the sport turned during a pro fight involving his friend Paul McCloskey - a bout which his fellow Derry man actually won. The brutal violence of the victory ended his love affair.

Brolly's main point that that even though individuals step into the Octagon or ring with full knowledge of the risks, they should not be allowed to do so - they should be 'protected from themselves'.

These violent life-and-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. Or why the toffs on the balcony at Newgate paid big money to watch the hangman pull the lever. It is why young, penniless men are queuing up to try to murder each other in cages and boxing rings. And why Conor McGregor high fives and beats his chest as a young man dies.

It's not the fighters' fault. Not the referees'. Nor the promoters'. Nor the audiences'. The law permits it. And it shouldn't. Time to ban these violent pro sports. Sometimes, humans beings have to be protected from themselves.

That's some emotive language from Brolly - especially the reference to Conor McGregor which makes it sound as if the UFC fighter celebrated the death of Joao Carvalho. Of course, McGregor - who was at the cage side when Charlie Ward defeated the Portuguese - was simply elated for his friend and could not have known what would happen in the days which followed.

Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

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Read: "It's A Sad Time To Be A Fight Fan" - Conor McGregor Pays Condolences After Death Of Joao Carvalho

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