For Immediate Release:
February 19, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Melbourne – Jannik Sinner won’t be going to the 2021 Australian Open final, but he and finalist Naomi Osaka have already won titles from PETA Australia, which has crowned the pair its 2021 Australian Open Champions for their acts of kindness to and respect for animals on the courts.
In the third set of his match against Denis Shapovalov, Sinner stopped play to tend to a moth who had landed on the court, carefully maneuvering the insect onto his racket and dropping them off by the chair umpire.
Osaka performed a similar act of compassion while mid-match against Ons Jabeur. When a fan yelled, “There’s a butterfly on your legs,” Osaka took the time before serving not only to acknowledge the butterfly but also to escort the insect gently off the court.
“Sinner and Osaka are champions in PETA’s book for showing kindness and respect to some of the smallest, most vulnerable animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “These aces’ on the ball actions to help insects set an example of compassion for other tennis pros—and their millions of fans—to follow.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.