The fight against legalizing mixed martial arts in New York state has largely focused on its barbarism. But in an open letter Tuesday, a consortium of Jewish groups is charging that an Arab nation considered one of the most anti-Semitic in the world would be the main beneficiary.
The letter, signed by 17 groups, highlight the fact that Abu Dhabi’s government owns a 10 percent stake in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sport’s biggest league. Abu Dhabi is part of the United Arab Emirates, which the Anti-Defamation League ranked as one of the most anti-Semitic countries in the world, the letter says.
“At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, we cannot stand by while Albany cuts a deal with a company whose profits will go directly into the hands of an enemy of Israel,” the letter says.
Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for Ultimate Fighting Championship, denounced the letter as “ethnic stereotyping,” noting that Abu Dhabi is a U.S. ally and has ownership stakes in New York City real estate, according to the Daily News.