Dog lovers around the U.S. are demanding that a Skechers Super Bowl commercial shot at a greyhound race track be pulled because it promotes the sport, which most of you know is a sport rife with the mistreatment of dogs.
They’re telling the shoe company and NBC to pull the ad before it runs, or prepare for a major boycott of their company and stores. Nearly 50,000 have signed a petition against the commercial that is slated to run on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.
“That the ad is running during the most heavily watched sporting event of the year suggests that greyhound racing is a sport. It is not. It is greyhound cruelty,” says Christine Dorchak, president of Grey2K USA, which is organizing the protest.
The ad features a supercute French bulldog wearing Skechers and running against greyhounds at Tucson Greyhound Park. The small dog wins. I’m sure that in the marketing and advertising meetings, it seemed appealing, but clearly no one who knew about the plight of racing greyhounds or at least no one who had an idea of the controversy could engender was in attendance. But it looks like the shoe company really stepped in something with this.
Apparently the Tucson Greyhound Park is notorious for ill treatment of its dogs. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the petition:
“While racing, greyhounds face the risk of serious injury. According to the Arizona Department of Racing, nearly 1,000 greyhound injuries occurred between January 2007 and November 2009, the last year such records were made available to the public.To read more about injuries and Arizona greyhound racing in general,please see our 128-page report [over here.]
At the moment I am writing this, there are 49, 449 signatures on the petition. Click here to ad your name to make it a nice round 50k ASAP. The Grey2K USA website also has e-mail addresses for key Skechers and NBC people to whom you can send letters. In addition the site has information about boycotts, including staging your own.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It’s a Davy and Goliath situation, with a shoestring-budget greyhound group versus the $2 billion company.