Wimbledon: The Latest Blood Sport?

Published by PETA.
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Move over bullfighting, hunting, and dogfighting—there’s a new blood sport in town: Wimbledon Tennis. Yep, you read that correctly: The oldest tennis championship in the world—the home of manicured green grass courts and lily white uniforms—now has a blood-red body count. Don’t go jumping to conclusions: It’s not that PETA friend John McEnroe has unleashed his infamous temper on the court. No, the crime here is far more serious than a few choice expletives hurled at an intractable tournament official.

Hold on to your strawberries and (vegan) cream for this one—it seems that Wimbledon has hired sharpshooters to kill pigeons. And what crime did these pigeons commit to merit capital punishment? They pooped. More specifically, they pooped on some tables in an open-air restaurant frequented by media folks who cover Wimbledon matches. Now, I’m no expert in the area of pigeon control, but here’s an idea: How about getting a few patio umbrellas? Call me Einstein, but I’d guess that my solution is a whole lot cheaper—in terms of money and lives.

And even if Wimbledon officials don’t give a whit about compassion or public opinion, here’s something else that they might consider: Their actions seem to be illegal, as in they’re likely breaking the law. A U.K. law passed in 2006 prohibits “lethal control” of animals, except as a last resort. PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich had more than a few choice words for Wimbledon, but here are a few that we can print:

Since the use of marksmen to kill pigeons appears to have been carried out as a first, rather than a last resort, and not out of a concern for public health, but rather because the animals were deemed inconvenient by players, you appear to be in clear violation of the law.

Posted by Grace Friedan

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind