Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Columnist fears amputee wrestler being used to turn martial arts competition into "freak show"

From Brad Zimanek's column in the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama:

News: Kyle Maynard (pictured) will become the first quad- amputee to fight in a mixed martial arts event on April 25 at Auburn. He's featured on a 10-bout card with tickets going for $20 in advance and $25 on day of the event.

Views: Maynard is an inspirational story. The Suwanee, Ga., native was born with a congenital amputation disorder. He has no elbows and no knees yet competed in the 2004 Georgia High School wrestling championships.

He posted a 35-16 record at Collins High School and graduated with a 3.7 GPA.

He won the 2004 ESPN ESPY award for the best Athlete With A Disability.

He's a motivational speaker and an author.

But this is just a freak show.

Mixed martial arts events are basically no-holds barred combat.

This is different than wrestling.

They are selling tickets for people who want to see how badly Maynard gets beat up.

This shows how far sports can go to make a buck. It's one of those things where you hope for the best but are expecting the worst. I just can't see anything good coming out of it.