The Saskatchewan Athletics Commission Act, which will legalize pro MMA and other combat sports in the Province, is up for second reading and is presently being debated by the Saskatchewan government.
It appears there is momentum in place and the law will likely pass but there is debate about the particulars of the proposed law. Now is an opportune time for stakeholders in the MMA community in Saskatchewan to contact their MLA to ensure your feedback is received.
Some of the more interesting concerns noted relate to the possible need for a Fighter’s Association and also disability benefits for competitors. Regarding a Fighter’s Association MLA Buckely Belanger commented that a lifetime in contact sports can take its toll and “I think a lot of players recognize that and that’s why you have the NHL Players’ Association to look after their members. And you would assume and hope that a commission of this sort that looks after the mixed martial arts fight contests, that they also look after their participants as well. I think that goes without saying that it’s something that’s really, really important when it comes to this particular art itself“.
With respect to possible disability benefits for combatants the same MLA noted as follows:
“And again I know that people could legally protect themselves by having the participants or the combatants sigh a waiver and full well know what they’re getting into. But…I think it’s incumbent upon the higher supporters of this particular sport, and that being government, that they put the proper protection in place to ensure that if a fighter gets hurt, or wore, gets brain injury, then that there is provisions to ensure that they have a decent income after if they get injured, and that there’s provisions that would care for them following their career if there is some MMA event in the province of Saskatchewan”
I have compiled the full debate transcripts here which are worth reviewing for those interested in Combat Sports regulatory issues: