Melbourne – Ahead of the 2021 Australian Open finals, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has crowned Jannik Sinner and Naomi Osaka its 2021 Australian Open champions for their acts of kindness to and respect for animals on the court.
In the third set of his match against Denis Shapovalov, Sinner stopped play to tend to a moth who had landed on the court, carefully manoeuvring the insect onto his racket and dropping them off by the chair umpire.
Naomi Osaka performed a similar act of compassion while mid-match against Ons Jabeur. When a fan yelled, “There’s a butterfly on your legs,” Osaka took the time before serving not only to acknowledge the butterfly but also to gently escort the insect off the court.
“No matter who wins the match on Saturday, as far as we’re concerned, Sinner and Osaka’s on the ball actions to help animals make them the real winners of this year’s Australian Open,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Moths and butterflies are sentient beings with a will to live, and as these compassionate tennis aces demonstrate, they deserve our kindness and respect – as all animals do.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.