After stories about a YouTube cockfighting video appeared in Thursday’s newspapers, Pedro Martinez issued a statement yesterday defending his participation in the cockfight in his native Dominican Republic. But the clip of Martinez and fellow Dominican pitching legend Juan Marichal presiding over the fatal fowl fight was pretty hard to find. But today the video is back posted by Gawker, which apparently got it from this Spanish-language web site. The shorter YouTube version is back too.
The president of the Humane Society excoriated Martinez in statement, according to the Daily News.
“Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal exhibited appallingly bad judgment in participating in a staged animal fight,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “It doesn’t excuse the behavior to find a legal haven for this reprehensible and inhumane conduct. It’s animal cruelty, no matter where it occurs.”
For his part, Martinez said in a statement “I understand that people are upset. This is part of our Dominican culture and is legal in the Dominican Republic. I was invited by my idol Juan Marichal to attend the event as a spectator, not as a participant.”
It’s hard to say how Martinez is not a participant since it was he who released one of the birds. But that standard, only the roosters would be participants in the fight, and it’s doubtful the birds constructed that high-tech thunderdome by themselves.
That said, Martinez, who seemed his goofy self right before he released the bird, doesn’t look to be having that much fun during the fight. Marichal, on the other hand, looks like he is having the time of his life.