Military Veterans Petition Against Marines Sponsorship of UFC

By Community | July 12, 2012

Through a petition Military veterans and their supporters will call on the U.S. Marines Corps to refrain from using taxpayer money to sponsor the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

They will deliver 5, click 000 petitions to Marine Corps recruiting stations in seven cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and Washington, D.C. as well as to the Commandant of the Marine Corps at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C.

The veteran activists also will voice their support for a bipartisan amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 5856) that would ban military spending on professional sports. The proposed ban – the “UFC Amendment” — would prohibit the use of taxpayer money to sponsor the UFC and other pro sports organizations.

The Marine Corps has spent more than $2 million sponsoring the UFC, the nation’s largest promoter of cage fighting events.

“As a Marine, I am deeply offended that the Marine Corps would ever associate itself with organizations that tolerate homophobia and hate speech like the UFC,” said Ryan Hand, a former Corporal of the Marine Corps and member of UNITE HERE New England Joint Board Local 406 in Saco, Maine. “As a taxpayer, our money can be better spent elsewhere, particularly as the Defense Department prepares deep cuts to the military.”

In a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, the Veterans Committee of UNITE HERE wrote, “We believe that, by aligning with the UFC, an organization that has tolerated homophobia, misogyny and hate speech, the Marine Corps is violating its stated commitment of `maintaining dignity and respect for one another.’ Homophobia and hatred, in any form, are not consistent with the values that make the Marines an elite fighting force.”