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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Shaq’s Sensitive Hands

Written by PETA | December 12, 2006
Shaq.jpg
Shaq’s sensitive hands

So, after a few months of getting used to their new synthetic ball, the NBA has decided they need to switch back to balls made from cows next year. Because Steve Nash and Shaq didn’t like the way the new balls grazed their delicate hands. This has been tough for us sports fans at PETA, because while we were delighted with the NBA’s decision to use nonleather balls (as the NCAA has for years), we’re also well aware of just how sensitive the hands of some NBA players are—much softer than college players’ hands—and we’d hate for Nash, Shaq, or LeBron to ruin their manicures.

NBA's New Composite Ball.jpg

But we have a compromise that will save Shaq’s skin and cowskins at the same time: Today, PETA’s Campaign Manager Dan Shannon sent an open letter to NBA players, offering a lifetime supply of cruelty-free hand cream to anyone who’s willing to give the composite ball another shot. You can read the letter here, and if you have any extra sensitive-skin hand cream lying around, you might want to send it along to some of these guys c/o the NBA. We just hate to see them suffer.

PETA's open letter to the NBA.JPG

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  • Tim says:

    WOW with so many other problems concerning this world you get concerned over a leather which is someone said before a byproduct of beef production It’s strange as long as you agree with PETA you are golden but if you disagree youre some kind of Cruel idiot I think sometimes Peta line of thinking is just outrageous Dont get me wrong if I see someone treating a Dog or Cat or other domestic animal in a horrible way guess what someones gettin a ASS WHOMPIN but as meat as part of my diet I feel thats there’s room for all animals on this earth right beside my potatoes and gravy. From what I see some folks in PETA have more problems than a math book.

  • refried cows says:

    Hey PETA members how about I come to where you work and jeoperdize your paycheck and liveliehood for something you dont care about but I think is important? This its not a fair comparison? Well it is EVERYONE reacts the same way when its their job thats being threatened. Humans are herbivores period we need SOME meat vegetarians have to supplement but Im more for natural foods than iron in pill form. You guys never have an issue when a hawk rips a rabbit up alive I might add and extremely distressed animal rights dont exist in nature it is up to humans to treat its food humanely because its the right thing to do but if you dont think I would kill a cow if I was starving same for you you WOULD do it are delusional.

  • Vincent says:

    For the NBA the game comes first. It wasn’t just the fact that the synthetic balls were less forgiving to players’ hands. Their bounce and grip were also unpredictable compared to that of leather. This would have affected the quality of the game and the NBA simply couldn’t afford that. Their decision is justifiable. I would consider PETA to be delusional and on the edge of the lunatic fringe if they think that one of the biggest moneymaking professional sports is going to endanger its product by kowtowing to their cause.

  • amrita says:

    I was pretty stunned to see some of the videos on this site. However after reading this letter all of the crediblity you could have generated just went down the drain. This was probably the most unprofessional thing PETA possibly could have written and it was obviously done to be childish and not to generate any sort of sympathetic reaction.

  • Hash says:

    I thought Steve Nash was a vegetarian? My favorite player in the nba is Steve Nash. I was dissapointed to hear him whine about the new ball. I’ve always hated shaq that big oaf. I personally wrote a letter to the nba in reference to Mr. Stern and told them Mr. Stern was a coward for letting nba players dictate his job. And some of the comments i’ve read here make me ashamed to be a human being sometimes. I don’t comprehend where some of this gutter mentality comes from.

  • kmc says:

    in reply to someone’s question about NBA vegetarians I know currently of none but they’re have been some historically. Larry Johnson basically his entire tenure as a Knick was vegetarian since he had converted to some form of Islam Kurt Thomas again during his Knicks years Thomas was a vegetarian but for other reasons Bill Walton CelticsBlazers Center who is still a vegetarian Anthony Peeler was a badass guard for many years in the NBA

  • kmc says:

    i can basically promise that I am far more knowledgeable about nba basketball than Dan what’s his face is and I can say that although I have had NBA league pass for years regularly attend nba games read every article on the Knicks and most NBAconcerning articles I have never heard ANY nba player complain that the synthetic ball cut their hands. on the contrary i heard a player say the old leather ball cut their hand that the new ball was easier on their hands. more than anything the players are complaining about the response of the ball to fundamental handling that is shooting bouncing passing and grip in general. I am not going to defend overpaid millionairs who would be playing ball for free if our society wasn’t so far out of whack not necessarily their fault is it dan whats his face? but when you bend the truth for your group’s personal gain I have to chime in and blog about it as well. I have hated shaq for years see my blog but the letter Dan wrote clearly is not the way to advance this organization’s goals. Not that anyone here knows anything about the political ramifications of the NBA but most players got used to the new ball stopped complaining about it weeks ago and were ready to move on but the NBA’s players union decided to file a suit against David Stern’s NBA claiming they weren’t consulted enough about the major changes that have taken place this season. To prevent futher transgressions they sued. Stern ever the dictator ignored intial complaints but after speaking with PR people has decided to go back to the leather ball not because he cares for the opinions of the players but because he wants to save face after many sportswriters wrote about his unreasonable tactics this year. People were beginning to talk about his firing which is why he switched back to the old ball. kmc lactoovo vegetarian for 9 years

  • Corey says:

    Um… y’all need to get a life animals are our slaves the perk of being on the top of the food chain. While they need to be protected at some small level… all for keeping part of the rain forest. But really if somebody wants something made of leather or another animal as long as the animal isn’t endangered or out of season he should be able to do whatever her or she wants to do. dan Wow dan thank you for parroting everything that youve been told about animal rights back to us. Good job remembering all those little details like the rain forest and endangered animals good for you! I was really curious what yall out in hillbillyvilly thought about animal rights. By the way if someone did whatever he or she wants to to your dog or cat youd be okay with it? Yeah! What gives them the right to want to end a policy change that is causing them injury? Who do they think they are petitioning their employer for a better working environment? What nerve! sguarino So uncomfortable texture of basketballs injury and harsh working environment millions of dollars to play a freaking game. Ill keep this logic in mind the next time I stub my toe at work I could sue for millions of dollars in pain and suffering! You want to talk about harsh working conditions? Take a look at factory farms and then tell me you care about harsh working conditions. I am for ethical treatment of animals but cattle are an important food source and leather is a usful byproduct. shawn Yeah youre a real hero. Im sure a lot of people who buy meat and leather are mentally for the ethical treatment of animals. They just happen to physically support the exact opposite i would like someone from PETA to actually say the hand cream thing to Shaq’s face. It would be great one less PETA member in the world.Rummy And one creep in prison. Also way to have Shaq do all your threatening for you. And just so You know if you ever said that to My face there would be one less PETA hater in the world. NBA players are far more important then cows. How many people sit in front of their TVs to watch cows?clint So how important would say an orphanage be on your scale? Or a hospital full of sick children? Or a school? Or a fire department? Oh they must be very unimportant then if nobody pays to see them. Theyre just a waste of space. Since when do we base our morality on how important someone is? Any laws saying that murder is okay as long as the person they killed was unimportant? We dont make basketballs out of unimportant humans do we? Being cruel to animals isn’t right but cows are killed anyway. clint are you serious? Its wrong but they do it anyway so its okay? I could take your sentence to mean that we need to due something about cows being killed if I didnt know better as in being cruel to animals isnt right but regardless of that fact cows are killed. If you think cruelty to animals is wrong get your act together and stop buying animal products.

  • Ryan says:

    This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in my life. The NBA’s not going to care what PETA thinks ever. I usually try to ignore PETA because they make me sad to be human sometimes. Yes there are cases of animal cruelty and yes they do need to be addressed but getting mad at a bunch of guys for wanting to keep their work environment the same its been for years is a bit of a reach. Why don’t you guys focus on real problems and stop crying that your “victory” in the basketball realms has been taken away.

  • t says:

    are they serious? whining about what the ball is made out of? they make millions of daollars they could retire right now an dnot touch another ball ever again. i wish they would and save the cows! i hate how unfortunately alot of people think that humans are so much better than animals well we aint animals dont destroy the ENTIRE planet thats us.

  • clint says:

    NBA players are far more important then cows. How many people sit in front of their TVs to watch cows? Buy expensive cable plans so their can see their favorite cow on TV? Or ever pay money to go and watch their favorite cow in person? No one. Cows serve no purpose in being alive aside from milk and cheese so why not give the NBA players their desired ball back? Being cruel to animals isn’t right but cows are killed anyway.

  • kevin says:

    I think this approach to the situation is harsh and immature! Free speech? Sure but extreme public and personal lashings will not help your cause to the general public. I’m in agreement with ethical treatment of animals. But what about these people whom you don’t personally know yet feel like you can publically trash them and the whole association? Do any other sports use leather??? just my take…

  • Chelsea (Cuckoo4tofu) says:

    Oh no they’re hands were GRAZED? Those poor injured basketball players we should send them some flowers and a getwell card! Yeah…Meanwhile cows are being slaughtered and skinned often times while FULLYCONSCIOUS but God forbid those players damage their delicate hands. I have a synthetic “leather” basketball made of shredded rubber and I’m not in agony after shooting some hoops. Yet then again I guess I don’t have paperthin skin.

  • Rummy says:

    i would like someone from PETA to actually say the hand cream thing to Shaq’s face. It would be great one less PETA member in the world.

  • Yancey says:

    O Boo Hoo about Lebron so he drinks milk

  • Jimmy says:

    Yancey the problem with Lebron maybe because of this httpwww.peta.orgfeatnbadairyindex.html

  • ohoh says:

    Learn when to pick your battles PETA leather basketballs in the NBA is not one of them. I respect your concern for animals but for a group that is often misunderstood and blown off by many people I find the tone of that letter ironic. Your group wants to be heard but when others voice their opinions you attack them? Come on! While the life of an NBA superstar is nice have you ever been booed by 20000 people at one time have you as an individual turned on the radio and heard people discuss what a piece of crap you are. Don’t stereotype people when your group is trying to fight the “overdramatic whine about ouchies for animals” stereotype. Be classy.

  • Brenda Langlais says:

    What a BIG joke. These guys are worried about their hands. I am a woman and I would not worry about my hands the way they do especially if an animal has to suffer for my hands to stay soft. Maybe they should see with their own eyes the pain the poor cows have to go through for those basketball players to keep their hands softer. HOW PATHETIC.

  • Jack says:

    Yeah Bill we’re really taking it to the “extreme” with a joke about hand cream. I can see the headlines now PETA Offers Shaq LotionHave They Finally Gone Too Far? In other news millions of animals slaughtered for their skin are forced to suffer broken bones and dehydration during transport in overcrowded trucks before having their throats slit and sometimes being dismembered while they’re still conscious. It takes the skin of a whole cow to make just four basketballs.

  • bill says:

    the only joke here is PETA. its funny that peta supporters think they have a really good joke with the “soft hands” but i’m betting the NBA could come back with plenty of jokes conerning PETA. i have never understood the extreme animal lovers who take things way to far.

  • dan says:

    Um… y’all need to get a life animals are our slaves the perk of being on the top of the food chain. While they need to be protected at some small level… all for keeping part of the rain forest. But really if somebody wants something made of leather or another animal as long as the animal isn’t endangered or out of season he should be able to do whatever her or she wants to do.

  • Stacy says:

    Oh my. I’m a strict vegetarian and a fervent believer in animal rights. But do you really think this is the best way to get people to see our side? By making fun of them and generally being jerks? I don’t think anyone’s perspective has ever been changed this way. I’m disappointed in the NBA for making this decision but I’m also disappointed in PETA for choosing this route to voice their own disappointment. A respectful tone would go a lot further in my opinion.

  • shawn says:

    How much paper is going to be wasted for a attempted jab that is never going to reach or be read by anyone in the NBA. I am for ethical treatment of animals but cattle are an important food source and leather is a usful byproduct. I just don’t see the NBA ball thing as that big a deal. Maybe a fair trade might be to keep the leather balls but use synthetic shoe and premium suite seating material.

  • Peter says:

    are any NBA players members of PETA?

  • Yancey says:

    uhh yea way to take a personal attack on Lebron James an individual who has shown nothing but class since his senior year of high school and btw I am not for or aganist the new ball but the argument isn’t over scrapes it is about how the ball bounces and the fact that David Stern did not consult the players union about the changes

  • sguarino says:

    Yeah! What gives them the right to want to end a policy change that is causing them injury? Who do they think they are petitioning their employer for a better working environment? What nerve!

  • Joan says:

    Congratulations Dan Shannon and PETA … this has to be THE BEST letter I have even seen written ! I was outraged when I heard the decision to go back to leather balls for the NBA and you took the words right out of my mouth about what a bunch of whiney babies they are !

  • sarah says:

    LOL!! well i mean lives filled with starvation tiny homesand living from paycheck to paycheck…it’s really the least we could do for their cold bleeding hands. but i think we all know what the irritation on their hands is really from…

  • Michelle Lilly says:

    OMG! I am dying laughing right now! Thanks for making me laugh! I can’t wait to see what the reply is from the NBA. Michelle

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