Wrestling Mat

Have you ever seen an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight?

They are sweaty, bloody, grimy, and athlete’s bodies are practically intertwined for most of the fight. Likewise, WWE is also a sport (or show) filled with skin to skin contact and extremely small personal bubbles. Not so long ago in the news, former WWE wrestler Billy Jack Haynes made an announcement that he is suing the WWE for contracting Hepatitis C on their watch from 1986-88 (two out of his 14-year wrestling career). The sum he is seeking? Over 5 million dollars.

WWE’s Response to Hepatitis C Accusations

Here are two quotes officially from WWE in response to Billy Jack Haynes accusations.

“Billy Jack Haynes spent only two years of his 14-year wrestling career with WWE. It would be impossible to know if he contracted Hepatitis C as a result of his wrestling career or from something else.”

“Since 2008, WWE has conducted physicals and blood work, including tests for Hepatitis C, as part of our Talent Wellness Program. These tests take place before a performer signs a contract and twice per year thereafter, and results are shared with the State licensing authorities that require it.”

Is it Possible Billy Jack Haynes Got Hepatitis C from Bloody Wrestling Matches?

Maybe. WebMD does not list skin to skin contact as a way of contracting Hepatitis C. It does state that blood transmission is the most common form of contraction. So maybe Billy Jack Haynes had an open wound and wound up with someone else’s blood entering his body while in the ring. Did it happen that way definitively? Did it happen in the two years in question? That is anyone’s guess. Our thoughts? There are a lot of other scary things in the petri dish of bodily fluids (AKA wrestling ring) besides Hepatitis C. What about MRSA and Staph? There is no question MRSA and Staph are spread in the ring.

WWE and MMA Need to Re-Consider Efforts to Protect Athletes

It is well documented by the CDC that MRSA and Staph can be spread in the ring, the training facility, or the locker room. There are five ways MRSA is transmitted, and MMA and WWE involve all five: definitively. The risk of contracting MRSA as an MMA athlete is real.

The Five C’s of MRSA and Staph

  1. Crowding
  2. Contact
  3. Compromised skin (even minor cuts, scrapes, turf burns, or open blisters)
  4. Contaminated items and surfaces (towels, band aids, tissues)
  5. Lack of Cleanliness

So why is it, with this knowledge readily available, that facilities and organizations don’t take simple steps to ensure the safety of athletes? Especially with the bloody battles showcased in the MMA video above? It is a mystery.

GreenZapr and MiniZapr Work to Protect Athletes

miniZapr protects MMA and WWE athletes from MRSA and Hepatitis C
The miniZapr is perfect for training facilities and wrestling rings.

How to protect athletes? The safest choice is to integrate UVC technology into wrestling facilities, training gyms, locker rooms and anywhere else athletes work and practice. Products such as the GreenZapr and miniZapr are quick and ideal for keeping athletes protected from MRSA and Staph. For facilities and organizations; the cost of implementing UVC technology is far cheaper than at best, a lawsuit, or at worst, the loss of someone’s life from MRSA.

Want to know more about MRSA, Staph, and UVC technology? Our blog is full of resources. Some of these posts might interest you:

Or skip the dull reading and give Mike a call to talk about it over the phone. It’s time to open our eyes to real risks MRSA and Staph pose to MMA, WWE, and other athletes all across the country.