The gruesome scenes Brazilian congressman wants banned from TV

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Galvão Bueno e Vitor Belfort na primeira transmissão da Globo. Foto: Divulgação.

Galvão and commentator Belfort at first UFC broadcast on Globo network—the one there is an appeal to ban / Publicity photo

First, it’s best to make it clear. The chances of MMA getting banned from Brazilian network television are about as great as Chael Sonnen’s are of knocking out Anderson Silva at UFC 148: next to nil, but they’re there.

Be that as it may, the bill Brazilian congressman José Mentor is proposing to be passed as law spread through the media like wildfire, and the biggest Jiu-Jitsu website of the South American nation, at its readers’ behest, is making known its position on the matter.

Our stance is that of the journalist Juca Kfouri when he says, “Congressman from São Paulo José Mentor’s attempt at banning martial arts borders on authoritarian insanity pure and simple.” An opinion shared by other red belts in journalism, like Alberto Dines and José Trajano.

The bill drawn up in 2009, now being scrutinized by the Ministry of Science and Technology, stores another major flaw. In seeking to prohibit MMA from airing on network television, at any time of the day, the congressman is talking about banning all “non-Olympic martial arts.”

That’s right, non-Olympic. Vicious and threatening styles like the ones you’ll see hereunder, if you’ve got the stomach.


To Mentor, martial arts, with exception to the Olympic ones, need to be screened from the eyes of the public for being “inhumane.” May be so. But so as not to make the same mistake the congressman did and generalize, we went looking for the definition of what makes an activity inhumane.

Since in the country’s capital of Brasília the concepts have been overly flexible, we appealed to classic philosophy for the answer. Here’s what the writer and professor of philosophy Pablo Capistrano had to say in his book “Simples filosofia” (“Simply philosophy”), published in 2009, the same year the bill was proposed.


“In his book ‘Ethics’, Aristotle shows us how we are only human beings when we’re together and we lose our humanity when we can’t fathom the just measure of our actions.”

Hang on, the professor explains: “When someone steals, kills, takes bribes or turns their car stereo up to an indecent level they are taking more than their fair share of the social assets. They are being richer, more free, possessing themselves of more life and power than they deserve. By the same token, this implies that someone else will become less rich, less free, have less life and be more fragile than they deserve to have and be.”

Food for thought. Is it indeed the martial arts or MMA on television that makes a country inhumane, noble congressman? Wouldn’t it be more fitting to regulate, look at time slots, and not ban and censure? We’ll leave our gentle readers with yet another brutal scene to behold, while we reflect.


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