Timing can be a blessing or a killer in the media/advertising business. On the eve of the ’08-09 NBA season, we put Gilbert Arenas on our cover, only to learn right around the time the issue dropped that Agent Zero would miss a big chunk of the season with more knee problems.
Apparently PETA is having a timing issue of its own involving Arenas. The day after Gilbert made all kinds of negative headlines when the NBA suspended him indefinitely in a still-unfolding story involving guns and personal threats, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals unveiled its latest “Ink, Not Mink” ad, starring the man of the hour.
From the official press release:
WASHINGTON–He may just have been suspended by the NBA indefinitely, but Gilbert Arenas already has a new job — as a PETA pitch man. Posing shirtless and revealing his tattooed chest and torso, Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas stars in PETA’s anti-fur ad campaign “Ink, Not Mink,” which launches today. The ad was shot by photographer Rafael Suanes at D.C.’s Verizon Center, the home of the Wizards.
“From the basket ball court to the boardroom, from the controversial figure to the style icon, everyone’s shunning fur,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Arenas shows that you can have a killer look without killing animals. Few industries on the planet are as foul as the fur trade, which bludgeons, electrocutes, and skins animals alive for the sake of vanity.”
The three-time NBA All-Star is the latest athlete to team up with PETA in campaigns to stop animal suffering. Amar’e Stoudemire, Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Curry, Michael Strahan, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and Tito Ortiz have also participated in PETA’s campaigns.
Arenas hopes that by participating in PETA’s famed “Ink, Not Mink” campaign, he will spotlight the fact that for every cuff, collar, piece of trim, or coat made from real fur, an animal suffered a miserable life and an agonizing death.
If you remember, earlier this season the PETA folks were loud (and pretty asinine) in their reaction to Manu Ginobili slapping a bat that had gotten loose in the Spurs’ arena during a game, and of course every sports fan became too familiar with the zealous organization during the Michael Vick saga. This time PETA was trying to do something positive with a high-profile athlete, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.