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Our Opinion: Leave the donkey alone

Is the risk worth the reward?

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

“Is donkey basketball cruel?”

It’s one of the first things you read when you type “Donkey basketball” in a Google search.

Or…

“The Dark Side of Donkey Basketball”;

“Donkey Basketball: Cruelty on the Court / PETA”;

“Donkey Basketball Fundraisers: Disturbing and Inhumane …”

That’s enough reading to convince us to side with Warren County School District Superintendent Amy Stewart when she says, “We decided we would not put ourselves in a position to be controversial. I tried to keep us out of that sort of thing.”

Whether you believe donkey basketball is an abuse of animals — which there are plenty who say that it is, the Superintendent’s reasoning is enough for us.

Why even go down that proverbial road?

Just down the literal road, a neighboring district was protested by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but still holds the event.

And just because donkey ball has always been done — so has dogfighting, puppy mills, fur farms, lab experiments, poaching, circus animals, etc. etc. — that doesn’t necessarily make it right. There are people who view donkey ball as animal abuse — the lights, the noise, the commotion, people riding them and trying to get them to hurry up. Would you blame the donkeys for being confused, frightened, and lashing out to protect themselves?

“If you Google it, you’re going to get 50-50 — folks supporting it and folks hating it,” Superintendent Stewart said.

So, whether or not you think it’s cruelty or “awesome to watch,” can’t you come up with something, anything else?

There are loads of innovative and humane fundraising events, including people playing basketball? Or dodgeball? Something?

The donkeys won’t mind.

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