People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, has written a letter to the Tampa Bay Rays requesting that the team remove its Rays Touch Tank from center field Tropicana Field.
According to The Tampa Tribune, Delcianna Winders, director of PETA captive animal law enforcement, argued in the letter that the placement of the tank makes it so the rays are in danger of being struck or killed by a home run ball.
“And as recent events have demonstrated, that threat is all too real,” Winders wrote.
The moment we saw Miguel Cabrera launch a home run into the tank, we knew there was going to be an issue. You have to hit an absolute shot to reach the tank. While it is clearly not impossible, it’s incredibly rare. The only other time a ball was sent splashing was in 2007 when Luis Gonzalez hit a homer at Tropicana Field as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The rays held captive at Tropicana Field not only were traumatically taken from their vast home waters but also are subject to harassment, loud crowds, and even baseballs capable of seriously injuring them,” a statement to the media from Winders said. “When it comes to compassion, the Rays are batting .000.”
PETA also took issue with the fact that the Rays allegedly ran a promotion that offered to donate $5,000 to charity every time a ball lands in the tank. The letter said that team claimed to be “unaware of any such offer” but only removed references about it from their website once the letter was sent.
“It would seem that the Rays have finally begun to remove their deadly contest from their site, five years after they first denied its existence,” PETA media coordinator Sophia Charchuk wrote in an email to The Tampa Tribune. “We hope that this signals the beginning of the end for the tank, where these inspiring animals are living a life sentence with no parole.”
As we were reminded a few years ago with this bizarre request, PETA and the sporting world do not always see eye-to-eye. Expect that to continue for many years to come.
H/T SbB LiveGoogle+