This story is a mélange of UK politics, British football and trophy hunting American-style.
If you are an international visitor you may have heard of Arsenal football club; a successful premier league club, known worldwide. An American, Mr Kroenke has owned a majority stake in Arsenal since 2011. His business, Outdoor Sportsman Group, includes MOTV (My Outdoor TV). MOTV offers thousands of hunting shows for a subscription fee of £7.60 a month in the UK. This is about $10 (USD).
The show presents trophy hunters killing wildlife. It shows a woman shooting an antelope with a bow and men chasing bears with dogs. In one show a presenter shoots a critically endangered African elephant. The elephant roars and charges at him before two more shots ring out and it crashes to the ground.
In another episode, a middle-aged man with a Smith & Wesson pistol shoots an adult lion beneath a tree. He said:
“It felt good, you know… This is the most exciting hunt I have ever been on.”
In the modern, enlightened age (!?), many millions of people find trophy hunting objectionable. It is out of place in the modern world particularly as all forms of wildlife is becoming increasingly endangered particularly African elephants and lions as mentioned above.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader in the UK, is an Arsenal supporter. He strongly objects to MOTV which become available in the UK last weekend. Mr Corbyn joined very many fellow Arsenal fans who said they were sickened and disgusted by MOTV.
“As an Arsenal fan I’m disgusted that Stan Kroenke is involved in such a brutal, unethical and unnecessary activity. This is not sport. Kroenke should stick to football if he wants to be involved in sport. Bloodsport is a contradiction and there should be no place on television or anywhere else for it.”
Robert Peston, an ITV political editor, said:
“As an Arsenal supporter I have to pay money to this person. I feel sick.”
Other personalities and celebrities have criticised Mr Kroenke and his subscription television channel. Ben Fogle, the adventurer and World Wildlife Fund ambassador has asked fans to boycott the club.
Philippa King, chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports said that Mr Kroenke had scored a “massive own goal… We are living in a world where most people can see how brutal and shameful trophy hunting is.
I’m not sure in what way an idiot with a gun against an elephant is a fair chase. Mr Kroenke could do the world a great favour by stopping peddling this kind of sickening TV and turning his focus on helping the animals he apparently likes to see killed.”
Supporters of trophy hunting and sport hunting insist that it is a way to raise money to help in conservation of wildlife. They say that the channel always features ethical legal and fair chase hunting.
Personally, I’ve never seen the logic in how sport hunting can assist in wildlife conservation. I think that they simply use that concept to justify their bloodlust.
For me, it is nice to see a protest in the UK about such a television channel. I hope that it continues. I hope that Mr Kroenke reconsiders expanding his business into the UK or gets out of Arsenal. For what it is worth, in my view, too many foreigners own too many football clubs in the UK. This should not be allowed. These clubs are a way of life for millions of British fans. Premiership clubs should not be used as vehicles to increase the wealth of already super wealthy individuals. They should be owned by the people actually, the fans themselves in an ideal world.
Change.org petition, please sign it.
Source: Times Newspaper.