PETA’s attempt at putting the NFL on blast over a rejected Super Bowl ad is having the opposite effect on the public. The human rights organization has been catching backlash for appropriating Colin Kaepernick’s message for a bizarre new commercial featuring numerous animals taking a knee —including insects, rodents, reptiles and fish.
“The NFL’s problem with Colin Kaepernick’s protest has apparently extended to PETA’s new Super Bowl LIV commercial,” the organization announced on Friday (Jan. 31).
PETA claims to be paying “homage” to Kapernick by showcasing a “variety of animals —
from a bee to a bear to a bald eagle — ‘taking a knee’ while the national anthem plays, ending with the message ‘Respect is the right of every living being #EndSpeciesism.” PETA alleges that the NFL pressured Fox to reject the ad, TMZ reports.
According to PETA, the ad challenges “speciesism,” which they describe as a “supremacist worldview” that allows humans to disrespect animals.
“Our patriotic Super Bowl spot envisions an America in which no sentient being is oppressed because of how they look, where they were born, who they love, or what species they are. It sends a message of kindness—one that the NFL should embrace, not silence,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
The commercial was called out for being tone-deaf, and for co-opting a gesture that is meant to bring attention to racial injustice and police brutality.
Read some of the reactions to PETA’s ad below.
Given PETA’s history of appropriating symbols of black social & political struggle, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by this.
But I’ll admit it. I didn’t see “Super Bowl commercial where a grizzly bear takes a knee” coming. https://t.co/Hbr5wSWDZT
— Dr. Joshua Bennett (@SirJoshBennett) January 31, 2020
Yea, PETA fucked up again AND made the fish kneel
But did you know that PETA also made the snake kneel? pic.twitter.com/junTnp89if
— 🐈Cat”can’t get any sleep”cupcake🐈 (@Catcupcake64) January 31, 2020
How y’all take a gesture that’s symbolic of black Americans’ fight against police brutality, apply it to animals & think it’s a good idea???
— Acacia (@kayoticcc) January 31, 2020
Gentle reminder that PETA supported AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio who tortured prisoners, including migrant detainees, because he also forced prisoners on a meatless diet to cut costs. https://t.co/b7eb4YLz2b
— Rebecca Pierce #BlackShabbat (@aptly_engineerd) January 31, 2020
Are you comparing police brutality on African Americans to me eating bacon??
— Mat (@matchu_chutrain) January 31, 2020
Question: Did PETA ever support the human, Colin Kaepernick and the people who lost their lives, for whom he CONTINUES to protest for?
— L E F T, PhD ⚫️ (@LeftSentThis) January 31, 2020