Yesterday we published a post with a link to a petition to persuade Arsenal’s sponsors to sanction Arsenal and Stan Kroenke over his launch of a new TV Channel dedicated to the killing of wild animals for sport. That pressure was quickly successful and Kroenke has now ordered My Outdoor TV to ‘remove all content related to those animals in light of public interest’.
A statement from MOTV today revealed his orders. The statement read: “Outdoor Sportsman Group is dedicated to serving audiences around the world interested in the outdoors. In the past few days, there has been significant public attention to a small portion of programming on our MyOutdoorTV app that contains content associated with hunting certain big game animals.
“While many on both sides of this issue have made their voices heard, and this content is only available through paid subscriptions, Stan Kroenke has directed us to remove all content related to those animals in light of the public interest.”
Although they highlighted the involvement of Arsenal fans in the statement, they did try to distance themselves from anything to do with Arsenal, despite being owned by the same person. “First, Outdoor Sportsman Group properties operate independently from unrelated companies that our parent owns – as do all of the parent’s other business and sports interests,”
“Arsenal Football Club has nothing to do with any of our media outlets. It has nothing to do with our content or the editorial decisions we make. We deserve no credit when an Arsenal striker scores a goal. Arsenal deserves no criticism when we offer a program with which some disagree.
“Second, we have made our content decisions independently of our parent company. Our parent had no input into these past decisions, and they have none now. All those who value the freedom of media outlets to set their own editorial courses should both recognize and respect this. We are grateful that our parent gives us this freedom.
“Even so, in this one instance, Mr. Kroenke directed us to make the changes explained above. He has a decades-long track record of environmental stewardship, working with conservationists, hydrologists, microbiologists, and others to responsibly manage habitat and enhance wildlife preservation. We also take conservation seriously, and dedicate programming to this issue and to anti-poaching efforts specifically.
“Third, hunting and fishing enthusiasts turn to our programming because we serve their interests. They turn to our programming because we depict legal, fair-chase practices. We recognize our content is not for everyone, and we respect those alternative viewpoints.”
Well whatever their excuses, the fact is that if enough people make their voices heard, then they will listen, especially if it affects their commercial interests, which is what would have happened if our petition had been taken notice of by our sponsors. Long live democracy!