For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Las Vegas – Viewers and attendees of the Netflix Cup golf event—a first-of-its-kind livestreamed sporting event that pitted Formula 1 drivers against PGA players at the Wynn Golf Club—were met with a surprise this evening when PETA supporters crashed the scene on their knees and issued a heartfelt appeal to executives of F1 and its parent company, Liberty Media—including Liberty President and CEO Greg Maffei—to end Liberty’s support of the deadly Iditarod. One supporter was detained after the group drove home the message that more than 150 dogs have died during the grueling 1,000-mile dog-sled race in Alaska. Video footage and photos of the “plead-in” during the livestream—which follows similar actions at events in Beverly Hills, California; Miami; New York City; and San Francisco—are available here.
Alaska Airlines, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, ExxonMobil, and many other companies have cut ties with the Iditarod after learning from PETA how dogs suffer and die because of the race, but Liberty Media subsidiary GCI, an internet service provider, is still sponsoring the notorious event to the tune of more than $250,000 every year.
“Liberty Media is still in bed with a disgraceful race in which dogs are forced to run until their paws bleed and their bodies give out, with 150 dogs dead and counting,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is pleading with the top brass to stop propping up this despicably cruel dog-sled race right now.”
Up to half the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it. During this year’s race—which had the smallest field of mushers in the event’s history—approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging exhausted dogs toward a checkpoint.
The leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod is aspiration pneumonia—caused by inhaling their own vomit—and the race’s official death toll doesn’t include countless others who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained next to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed in a PETA undercover investigation.
PETA—which owns stock in Formula 1—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and its motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”