For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2020
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – Last night, PETA’s all-virtual 40th Anniversary and Holiday Party celebrated the group’s four decades of victories for animals and honored the celebrities who have helped make them happen. The event included special appearances by Sir Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, and others—and its honorees included two sports icons:
Super Bowl–winning Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes presented his pal and teammate Tyrann Mathieu with a PETA Humanitarian Award in honor of his efforts to save dogs from dying of heatstroke inside parked cars in the summer and freezing in backyards in the winter.
“Being in the NFL has given me some amazing opportunities, but the most important one is using my platform for positive change. I have a teammate who is doing just that. I am so proud of the videos he’s done for PETA, working to get animals out there treated with respect. He is not only an asset to our team but to animals who need protection,” said Mahomes in his presentation.
Mathieu, who went to Louisiana State University and played for the Cardinals, said, “Growing up in New Orleans and playing football in Arizona and Kansas City, I’ve known sweltering heat and bitter cold. I also know how dangerous extreme temperatures can be for dogs. When PETA showed me what they see in the field, I was shocked by how poorly ‘man’s best friend’ was being treated. It broke my heart, and I had something to say. Defending is my kind of my thing, after all. PETA, thank you for this honor.”
Retired NBA star John Salley also received an award presented by Casey Affleck in celebration of his vegan advocacy, which has included hosting PETA’s Veggie Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill (the group’s annual answer to a meat industry event). Salley said, “This award means so much to me. It’s about standing up for a cause that is close to my heart. … I’ve been a vegan for over a decade now. … And it’s all about building a kinder world for animals, feeling the best you can. And you know what? Help the planet.”
The event also featured a segment highlighting the numerous sports superstars who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals over the years, including Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, World Cup champions Alex Morgan and Christen Press, former NBA champion Metta World Peace, and WNBA stars Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker.