As the World Series gets underway this week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday called on Major League Baseball (MLB) to retire the term “bullpen” and start using a more “animal-friendly” term.
In a pun-ridden statement, PETA “pitched” the idea to MLB.
“As the World Series turns into a pitching duel, PETA is pitching a proposal to the baseball world,” PETA said. “Strike out the word ‘bullpen,’ which references the holding area where terrified bulls are kept before slaughter, in favor of a more modern, animal-friendly term.”
“PETA’s suggestion? The arm barn!” the group said.
“Bullpen” refers to the area of a “bull’s pen” where bulls are held before they are slaughtered—it’s a word with speciesist roots & we can do better than that.
Switching to “arm barn” would be a home run for baseball fans, players, and animals 💪⚾️ pic.twitter.com/2FzSpDG9mQ
— Arm Barn (@peta) October 28, 2021
The animal rights group argued that the baseball “bullpen,” where pitchers warm up before pitching during a game, references the area at rodeos where bulls are held before they are slaughtered.
PETA said that “in rodeos, gentle bulls are tormented into kicking and bucking by being electro-shocked or prodded—all are typically held in a ‘bullpen’ while they await their cruel fate.”
“Bullpen” has “speciesist roots & we can do better than that,” PETA said in a tweet Thursday. “Switching to ‘arm barn’ would be a home run for baseball fans, players, and animals.”
“Words matter, and baseball ‘bullpens’ devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA encourages Major League Baseball coaches, announcers, players, and fans to changeup their language and embrace the ‘arm barn’ instead.”
The group’s statement comes after the first two games of the World Series this week, with game three scheduled for Friday. The Atlanta Braves are playing the Houston Astros, both teams weathering their own separate controversies. Each team has won a game so far.
Braves fans still use their signature tomahawk chop gesture, “The Chop,” to cheer on their team, which some have criticized as “racist” toward Native Americans.
Before game one of the World Series, which began in Houston on the Astros’ turf, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred defended “The Chop” as well as the Braves’ name.
“The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community,” Manfred said. “The Native American community in that region is wholly supportive of the Braves program, including ‘The Chop.’ For me, that’s kind of the end of the story. In that market, we’re taking into account the Native American community.”
“We try to stay apolitical,” Manfred said. “And like to keep the focus on the field, on the game.”
Meanwhile, the Astros are still tainted by their cheating scandal from 2017 and 2018 that left a lingering bad taste in the mouths of baseball fans, and they have been accused of cheating again in 2021.
In yet another political ripple to this year’s World Series, games three through five will be held at the Braves’ stadium in Atlanta after MLB pulled the scheduled July 13 All-Star Game from the city over criticism of Georgia’s election law, which progressives claimed would disenfranchise minorities.
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