Mike Tyson and Pigeon Racing: the Latest PETA Outrage


Of all the sports leads we never expected to read, this has got to be number one:

“Animal rights activists are crying foul over boxer Mike Tyson’s plans to host a reality show featuring pigeon racing. This from today’s Daily News story by Erin Durkin.

In a single sentence we were alerted to three things we never knew: One, that Mike Tyson likes pigeons; two, that animal-rights activists care about them, and three, there is actually such a thing as “pigeon racing.”

Exactly what pigeon racing entails isn’t clear to us. Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, says, “It is inherently cruel. The birds often end up lost in storms, being injured, or just becoming so exhausted that they’re unable to fly.” Is the result of long-term studies of pigeon racing? Seriously, we’d like to know. Where are these races held? How were pigeons lost in storms? (Where do non-racing pigeons go during storms?) How do they get injured? What is it about racing that makes them unable to fly?

And how, exactly, does one train a pigeon? All these are questions that we’d like some answers to before this thing gets out of hand.

In any event, Mike Tyson claims to have been raising pigeons his entire life — no doubt in the tradition of light-heavyweight contender Terry Malloy — but denies ever having raced them “competitively.”

Who, then, speaks for the world of competitive pigeon racing? Is there a commissioner, a legal counsel? Agents? Testing for steroid use? Anyone with information on this, please contact us.


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