29.09.06 - By Umar Lee: Boxing has been a source of physical activity and recreation that has led many youth off the streets over the years and into productive lives and this has been the case in New York for generations. That is why I am saddened to learn that the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, without warning, shut down the Police Athletic League boxing area in Sunset Park, Brooklyn the New York Post is reporting today and this is a neighborhood that needs all the help it can get.
In the Post retired NYPD Sgt. Patrick Russo is quoted as saying "This program has been in the neighborhood for over 20 years and it has served the neighborhood and the youth of the neighborhood during that time and saved a lot of kids' lives."
The city says they need the space for after school activities; but boxing is an after school activity. Was this decision influenced by a cultural bias against boxing by some elites? Or is there something else behind this? Hopefully something can be done about this and this gym can be saved and one of the best ways to do this is for you to email and call the New York City Parks and Recreation Department at 311 if you are in the City and ask to be put in contact with the office of Commissioner Adrian Benepe or 212-New-York if you are outside of the city. The website for the department also has a feedback forum.