Before UFC 131 Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu requested the UFC to pay for extra policing because, according to the Vancouver Courier, residents apparently complained about public urination and rowdy drunks after UFC 115 back in June of 2010.
Shame on Chu – Jim Chu Stereotypes MMA Fans
Sounds like a regular Saturday night in Vancouver. However, here is the prophetic response from Tom Wright, UFC Canada’s Director of Operations, when he turned down the request.
“I explained that while we remain supportive of law enforcement in every city we bring shows to, we weren’t prepared to be ‘treated differently’ than other events/concerts/shows (Canucks, Rolling Stones etc). This is a particularly important consideration when ‘incidents’ at UFC events are typically fewer than other big events. As I explained, if I were the Chief I’d be more worried about Canuck fans (celebrating or crying in their beers) than UFC fans.”
I had the pleasure of covering UFC 131 and after the event was over, I didn’t see any cars flipped over or lit up. There were no riot police, nobody throwing bricks or bottles at firefighters and police. In fact, it was a pretty mild-mannered crowd.
“They (VPD) didn’t report in any incidents of note,” said Jana McGuinness, a Vancouver Police Department media relations officer. “There was good dialogue with the police and the community since last year and their concerns were brought forward and we responded with increased patrols.”
I think we can finally put to rest that mixed martial art fans are nothing but hooligans and bloodthirsty anarchists. Instead, those people exist in our society no matter what event occurs. They tried to stir up unrest during the Olympics, and they used the drunken mob mentality to insight a riot after game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. The question I have is this, why didn’t police Chief Jim Chu request the Canucks to pay for extra policing?
I will leave you to answer that question. However, as we continue to pick up the pieces of glass and pride off the pavement, there are many lessons to be learned. City council and the VPD need to stop making generalizations about people who attend professional MMA shows. The fact of the matter is this, there are far more incidents of stupidity that goes on after a Canucks game. Unfortunately, Mr. Chu decided to play the game of politics and stereotypes and put the majority of his focus on the wrong event. Oops.