The game of cricket is a big deal to millions of fans around the world, so People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) knew it would earn a good deal of attention by announcing the support of a major figure within the sport. But now PETA’s in a sticky wicket as India’s new cricket coach, the legendary player Greg Chappell, has become the latest celebrity to accuse the group of falsely using his endorsement.
Just as PETA has been rebuked by the Dalai Lama, former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, and the Beastie Boys for misrepresenting their positions, Chappell said PETA’s claim that he would “team up” with the group and go “to bat for veganism” was bogus. Yesterday the cricket star chirped back at the group: “I wish to refute the claim by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals that I am or will be a spokesperson for that organization.” Saying that a few years ago he allowed the group to reprint a book of his, Chappell stated: “At no stage did I agree to become an Ambassador for their wider campaigns. I will be contacting PETA and asking them for an apology.”
To get an idea of Chappell’s fame, consider that Google (not to be confused with a “googly” in cricket) turns up about 93,000 hits for his name. Home-run-hitter-turned-coach Don Baylor, by comparison, turns up about 33,000.