NSAC Chairman compares potential fighter trash-talk regulation to NFL, NBA, and MLB

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The Nevada State Athletic Commission, at its January 2019 meeting, brought up the issue of how nasty and threatening the trash talk between fighters has become and how they would like to do something about. Members of the commission went so far as to indicate they would consider sanctioning fighters via suspensions and/or fines for their unprofessional conduct leading up to bouts in the state.

Commission chairman Anthony Marnell in January said, “The verbal part of the promotion, in my opinion, has gotten so out of line that it’s embarrassing.”

He later added, “I think we can be as strict as we wanna be. What we don’t wanna do is come in out of nowhere and just do this. What we wanna do is properly discuss it quickly, take feedback, follow the public process, make sure that it’s well documented – what our expectations are – issue a code of conduct policy that’s maybe a little more elaborate, and furthermore encourage our promoters to follow their own code of conduct policy.”

When questioned about the First Amendment’s protection of free speech in the United States, Marnell at that time said, “I haven’t thought that far. I guess you can say whatever you want at any time, but that doesn’t mean you should earn a privileged license.”

Those comments sparked a bit of a controversy leaving even UFC President Dana White commenting that such oversight by a government entity might be overstepping its bounds.

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The NSAC has yet to take any action on the matter, but Marnell and executive director Bob Bennett fielded questions from the media on the topic following the commission’s February 2019 meeting.