Animal rights group PETA doesn’t back down from anybody. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is now in a fight with former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson over his ridiculous planned reality show, Taking on Tyson.
While you would hope Taking on Tyson would revolve around boxing since Mike Tyson was at one point during his professional career the most feared fighter on the planet, it doesn’t. Instead, the proposed reality show on Animal Planet, which was scheduled to begin production in Brooklyn, New York next month, is about competitive pigeon racing.
Yes, pigeon racing. The 42-year-old Tyson has always maintained he’s had a deep passion for the birds and has raised them since he was a kid.
However, Iron Mike’s deep childhood passion is what now has PETA up in arms. The animal rights association has vehemently opposed Mike Tyson’s bizarre reality TV project, which is currently under investigation, since it was announced early last week.
“While pigeon racing is cruel to birds no matter where it takes place, in New York state it’s also very likely illegal,” PETA reported on its blog. “Gambling is generally prohibited in New York state – as are races using animals other than horses in which any bet, stake, or reward is involved.”
In other words, Mike Tyson, the youngest heavyweight to capture the championship with a career record of 50 wins and 6 losses with 44 knockouts, most likely won’t win this fight for his reality show, Taking on Tyson.
And thank goodness.
While I know squat about competitive pigeon racing and the effect it would have on the birds involved, I do recognize an awful premise of a reality TV show when I hear it.
Like most reality shows on TV, The Michael Vick Project on BET starring the embattled NFL quarterback initially sounded like a bad idea and subsequently is a shabby show. On its surface, Taking on Tyson sounds even worse than Vick and the others.
Television networks like the rest of mass media outlets are always looking for ways to boost their ratings. But booking shows like Taking on Tyson featuring a washed-up Mike Tyson just isn’t the answer, especially if it means fighting the relentless PETA who’s always willing to go toe-to-toe for its cause.
Dwayne C. Nelson’s music and sports column appears regularly on Associated Content. Click on the links below to read some of his recent columns:
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