For the seventh year running, Assemblyman Armando Montano, at the urging of his South Bronx constituents, has introduced a bill to legalize cockfighting in New York State. For the seventh year running, the bill has been sent to the Assembly Agriculture Committee, where it is expected to roost for the rest of the session.
“There are a lot of Puerto Ricans and Hispanics in the state and in the city who would like to see it legalized.” It’s a culture thing. “Every Puerto Rican enjoys a good cockfight.”
In fact the sport’s attraction goes quite a bit further, said Clifton Bryant, a professor of sociology at Virginia Tech who has studies cockfighting extensively.
Surveying a thousand readers of Grit and Steel, a 77-year-old magazine that deals exclusively with cockfighting, the professor found aficionados in many walks of life, many ethnic groups, all income levels – and a substantial number of families that raise and fight roosters as a hobby.
“Apparently, the family that cockfights together stays together,” he said. “It’s one of those stable kinds of arrangements.”
Excerpt from NYT Meislin 2/22/77