I’ve made this argument many, many times. So I’m not quite sure how I feel about what I’m reading here:
A group called Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling has for six years packed bars around this city with its lampoons of World Wrestling Entertainment, the pro league. Cast members have included a husky everyman who likes to tick off environmentalists by boasting about chopping down trees, and Ronald McFondle, a raunchy rendition of a clown character, who finishes off his opponents with a lewd gesture. They grapple on foam pads placed on stages in bars, not in rings.
Washington state’s Department of Licensing takes the high jinks seriously. Earlier this month, it classified the performances as “sports entertainment.” The ruling means the spoofers must meet safety regulations and could force the league to post a $10,000 bond, station medical personnel at events and buy a regulation wrestling ring.
Of course, here’s what this makes me wonder: if a theater in Seattle wanted to do Chad Deity, would it be classified as sports entertainment? And wasn’t the whole point of the term “sports entertainment” to allow the WWE to avoid the licensing requirements many sports have to face?