The video: A British Mixed Martial Arts promoter recently posted video of a slate of matches on YouTube, but just one of the fights sparked widespread outrage. It featured two 8-year-old boys cage fighting in front of a hooting crowd in Preston, in northwest England (view a BBC news report below). Police say they are investigating "whether there were issues surrounding the safety of children," and claim that while they knew the Greenland Labour Club was planning a fight night, they didn't know kids would be getting into the ring. A promotion at Sharefight.com, however, has photos of several boys, fists raised. The father of one of the boys told the BBC that he'd rather have his son in the ring than on the street. "He wants to do it, so leave him to do it," says Nick Hartley. "He'll never get hurt. It's a controlled sport."
The reaction: Obviously, this is "disturbing," says Sunny Chanel at Babble. I'm OK with "golf, karate, softball, or maybe even a little polo. But cage fighting?" What "brutality." What malarkey, says Jake Hughes at Bleacher Report. These kids weren't even throwing punches and kicks. They were just wrestling, which makes this "perfectly legal." It would have been better to give the kids padded headgear and gloves, says James Furbush at Hypervocal. But let's be honest. If the video had been shot "at a local karate academy or a boxing gym" instead of inside an octagonal cage, it probably wouldn't have produced "the same visceral and angry reaction." Watch a BBC report on the controversy:
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