Australia is a bit of a funny place when it comes to mixed martial arts. The sport is very popular amongst one segment of the population, but many of its older citizens are dead set against the sport. They’re like North Americans from 1998 who can’t believe human cockfighting is legit and allowed, and they’ll do anything they can to ban the sport.
In several provinces of Australia, cagefighting is still illegal. And it was a very hot political issue in the last election with ads like this being all too common:
So keep that in mind when trying to figure out what the what is going on regarding UFC fighter Soa “The Hulk” Palelei being barred from visiting sick children at Princess Margaret Hospital because his sport is barbaric and evil. Via WAToday.com.au:
A PMH spokeswoman said it had received a request to set up a photo with Fuller and Palelei but decided to ban “The Hulk” from the hospital because of his association with UFC.
“Following the significant media coverage of controversy surrounding UFC fighting, which is currently banned in Western Australia, a decision was made by the PMH executive that it would not be appropriate to have a representative of the sport visit the hospital,” she said.
“PMH has a duty of care to its patients, their families and staff.
“With many people in the community having very strong views about this particular sport, due to its perceived level of violence, and the fact it is banned in WA, executive staff felt this was the best decision at the time.”
Meanwhile, Soa just wants to raise some money to help sick kids. He’s an official ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and never had an issue like this in the four other times he worked with the organization. But apparently some people think ultimate fighters eat babies, and those people are high enough up in hospital administration to bar Palelei from appearing.
Congratulations, Princess Margaret Hospital! You’ve saved Australia from cage fighting!