Journal News, The (Westchester County, NY)
October 4, 2002
Protest may be aimed at wrong target
Animal-rights groups upset with USTA about rodeo
The Journal News
Two animal-rights groups have planned a demonstration
for 1:30 p.m. today outside the United States Tennis Association offices in
Harrison to protest a rodeo held in conjunction with a local tennis
Kiley Blackman, a spokesperson for Animal Defenders of
Westchester, said the group took offense to the addition of a rodeo in
conjunction with the GHI Bronx Tennis Classic three years ago. People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals also is involved in the planned protest.
But the USTA may not be the correct target. The New
York Junior Tennis League, a USTA affiliated organization that put on the
rodeo in its first two years, was not involved with last August's rodeo,
which was again held the weekend before the Challenger Circuit tournament.
"The rodeo was advertised separately," said Jane
Bartnett of Bartnett Communications! , which handled public relations for
both the tennis tournament and the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation,
which put on the rodeo last year.
"The USTA has never sponsored or promoted the rodeo,"
USTA publicity manager Tim Curry said.
Curry said that none of the organization's funds have
ever been used for the rodeo. GHI, which sponsors the tennis tournament,
asked that its name be removed from all promotional materials well before
Blackman said that she didn't believe the NYJTL was
completely out of the picture.
"It's all bull," Blackman said.
One thing everyone can agree upon is that GHI refused
to sponsor the rodeo. GHI's senior vice president of corporate affairs,
Ilene Margolin, said the company had only intended to
sponsor the tournament.
"There were concerns raised by people in the community,
and we have no reason to support a rodeo," Margolin said.
Blackman said the implements used to get the animals to
buck, as well as roping calves, were inherently cruel.
"Kids have grown up with this stuff, and they don't
think," Blackman said.
Reach Jane McManus at
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