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Professional Boxers in The State of New York Are Being Discriminated Against!

It has been difficult to get anyone to listen to my concerns regarding professional boxers in the State of New York. The current Executive Order 202.3:

“Any gym, fitness centers or classes, and movie theaters shall also cease operation,

effective at 8 pm on March 16, 2020 until further notice.”

That order has not been changed or lifted at this point. The Executive Order is very broad and should have a review process for exceptions to this broad-based plan. In the beginning of June, Governor Cuomo allowed professional athletes involved with leagues to begin training for the resumption of competition in their training facilities (gyms). Professional boxers are not permitted to train for their competitions.

It is not only not fair for Professional boxers not to be considered the same as other professional athletes, it is dangerous. If a boxer is not properly trained and in shape, he or she can be seriously injured or even killed in the ring. Because Gleason’s Gym is lumped in with all gyms, such as a yoga studio or NY Sports Clubs the professional boxers cannot train. Gleason’s Gym should be the same as a training facility. Gleason's Gym is the oldest boxing gym in The United States. We have trained 136 professional World Champions. Jake LaMotta, Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson and Roberto Duran are but a few that called Gleason's home. Gleason’s Gym should be considered a training facility for professional boxers and granted the same rights as other professional athletes.

The Brooklyn Nets have permission to train at the Barclay Center (one mile from Gleason's Gym) to prepare for the return of audience free basketball games. Our professional boxers should be able to train for audience free boxing shows. They should not be discriminated against because they are not represented by big leagues.

It will be easy to police. The gyms, athletes and trainers that enter the gym are all licensed by the New York State Athletic Commission. I can provide a reopening plan that will fully satisfy the Department of Health.

Like many countries, Norway ordered all gyms to close in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But unlike any other nation, Norway also funded a rigorous study to determine whether the closings were really necessary. It is apparently the first and only randomized trial to test whether people who work out at gyms with modest restrictions are at greater risk of infection from the coronavirus than those who do not. The tentative answer after two weeks: no, as reported in the June 25th, 2020 New York Times. We still do not have a reopening date. The Government is not giving us any direction and has refused to answer my numerous requests for direction. Please write your local representatives and ask to have gyms and training facilities reopened now.

I just signed the petition "Andrew M. Cuomo: Open Gyms in NY State at the start of Phase 4" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Above. Boxer Melissa St-Vil photographed at Gleason's Gym Photo Credit: Warren Rosenberg

Editors Note: MetroSports Magazine has previously published an article on champion boxer Cara Castronuova's taking this battle to Albany to directly confront the Governor and State legislature on the more general opening of businesses throughout New York State.

Editors Note: YMCA's across the State are requesting that similar petitions be sent to Governor and Legislators. The following appeared on the Yonkers Family YMCA Facebook Page.

Take Action Today!

As we are sure you are aware by now, Governor Cuomo issued Phase 4 guidance that did not include gyms as part of the initial reopening. To further complicate matters, no explanation was given as to why, nor was a time frame established on when gyms might be allowed to open in this phase. YMCAs have been preparing to open for weeks in anticipation of Phase 4, and we are shocked and deeply saddened by this development. Time is of the essence, and we must tell the Governor that YMCAs are prepared to open ASAP!

Here is what we need from you today…

• Copy and paste the verbiage below in an email to Governor Cuomo; Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa; Commissioner Howard Zucker; and New York State Budget Director Rob Mujica and ask them to allow gyms to reopen! The letter is a template for you to personalize.

SUBJECT: Let YMCAs Serve New York

EMAIL BODY: The Governor’s decision to prohibit YMCAs from reopening at the beginning of Phase 4 is completely unwarranted given the progress that New York State achieved. I strongly encourage the Governor to immediately release the guidelines for reopening gyms and to set a firm date to resume operations. The recent decision directly jeopardizes the economic viability of one of New York State’s largest non-profit organizations and employers, as well as the health and well-being of more than 1.5 million children, families, and seniors who rely on the Y for everything from child care to housing.

Since closing their doors in March, YMCAs have renovated their facilities, adjusted their cleaning protocols, and physically redesigned their spaces in order to create an environment that exceeds the health and safety best practice guidelines from the CDC and State Department of Health.

YMCAs across the state have worked together to ensure that they are reopening in a safe and responsible manner. Many Ys have been delivering essential services, like child care, food and housing programs throughout the pandemic. Many of which are operating without adequate funding. YMCAs are confident in their ability to operate in a manner that minimizes the risk to their staff and members.

It is clear that YMCAs can run safely and responsibly during this pandemic. My community needs the Y, and we need your help to make sure the Y can continue to serve our community.

EMAIL ADDRESSES: Governor Cuomo: Melissa DeRosa: Howard Zucker: Rob Mujica:

• Call the following offices and leave a message explaining that your YMCA is more than prepared to reopen and that this decision has severe consequences in the sustainability of not only your Y but to the services you provide in your community.

PHONE NUMBERS: Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390 Melissa DeRosa: 518-474.-4246 Howard Zucker: 518-474-2011 Rob Mujica: 518-474-2300

• Send the following tweets on Twitter:

New York’s YMCAs are ready and able to reopen in a safe and responsible manner. Tell @NYGovCuomo to let the Y get back to work!

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