Gregor Robertson with UFC president Dana White (left) – photo: Vancouver Sun
The media scuttlebutt on Saturday's much-hyped UFC match at GM Place was that it was a success. CKNW commentator Bruce Allen raved about the UFC event on his Monday Reality Check segment, and scolded what he perceived were the chicken littles opposed to this event. Despite the fact that Mayor Gregor Robertson was trying hard to be seen as a supporter of the event, Allen still gets his digs in on him. He points the finger of blame at Gregor (and Geoff Meggs) for killing Appleton Gallery. You can listen to Bruce Allen's commentary here –
It raises a question as to what Gregor Robertson was trying to gain by connecting himself so closely with this extreme sport event. Frances Bula reports that negotiations between the UFC and the City were a cage match of their own.
Also on Monday morning, Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement in response to the gay bashing incident that took place just a short distance from GM Place on Saturday night. A possible connection to the Ultimate Fighting (UFC) event taking place at the arena has been made by some, though there is no conclusive evidence that the two thugs who beat Peter Regier and David Holtzman on the steps outside of their apartment building had any connection to the match that had just ended nearby.
A debate has begun at the Georgia Straight website among two sides of the issue – one side who are strong supporters of the UFC, and the other suggesting the UFC is more trouble than it's worth. It's the kind of debate where people dig in their heels and no one usually wins.
In a curious move the Vision Vancouver party sent out a bulletin of their own late Monday afternoon. It was titled "Our Strength is Our Diversity", and it seemed to signal that Vision are feeling a liittle vulnerable about being big Ultimate Fighting boosters. The bulletin sent a copy of the Mayor's statement on the gay bashing along with this introductory text:
Vancouver is a great city and what makes us great is our diversity. Vision Vancouver offers our sympathies to the two Vancouver residents who were assaulted outside their home Saturday night.
The physical and verbal attacks appear to have been motivated by hatred toward members of the LGBTQ community. Hatred toward any particular group has no place in our city and Vision Vancouver strongly supports a zero-tolerance policy towards this type of aggression. The courts have recently ruled similar incidents as hate crimes.
It all feels like dancing on a head of a pin, and nobody does it better than Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver.
See also Charles Campbell's analysis in The Tyee.
- post by Mike