Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pedro Martinez & HOF Juan Marichal Participating In A Cockfight

This is not for the squeamish at all.

Not Good. Not Good at all. Whether or not this happened on foreign soil or not, anytime a celebrity is aligned with animal fighting, it is not a good thing...

Now it's New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal who are being denounced for animal fighting.

A video of Martinez and Marichal at a cockfight was posted this week on YouTube and it showed the two laughing before releasing the roosters. They took part as honorary "soltadores," the word used to describe the person who puts the animal to fight.

The fight takes place in their home country, the Dominican Republic, where cockfighting is legal and popular. It is banned throughout the United States.

Martinez told the Mets the cockfight occurred at least two years ago.

In the wake of Michael Vick's recent dogfighting case, Martinez and Marichal are the latest sports stars to draw criticism for animal fighting.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent letters to both pitchers Thursday, calling on them to publicly apologize. The Humane Society of the United States said "Major League Baseball should join us in condemning Martinez and Marichal for their shameful example."

"I understand that people are upset, but this is part of our Dominican culture and is legal in the Dominican Republic," Martinez said in a statement issued by the Mets. "I was invited by my idol, Juan Marichal, to attend the event as a spectator, not as a participant."

In the video, which was posted Tuesday, the animal released by Martinez appears to be killed. The fight takes place in the Coliseo Gallistico de Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Cockfighting Coliseum) in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic's biggest cockfighting venue.

By early Thursday, the video was removed "due to terms of use violation."

PETA also sent a letter to baseball commissioner Bud Selig urging all major league players and staff to take its animal sensitivity training course -- the same one Vick attended after pleading guilty to federal dogfighting charges in August.

Doesn't matter what the excuse is, there is no way a commodity and a face of an organization should be involved in any shape, fashion or whatever in such behavior.

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