MEDIA RELEASE: WATCH: Demonstrators Clash With Pub Goers in Bid to End “World’s Stupidest Sport”

MEDIA RELEASE: WATCH: Demonstrators Clash With Pub Goers in Bid to End “World’s Stupidest Sport”

LOS ANGELES (March 22, 2024) — On Thursday, March 21, over 30 caring Los Angelenos joined In Defense of Animals, Los Angeles for Animals and Los Angeles Animal Defense League to protest animal cruelty at Brennan’s Irish pub in Marina del Rey. Since 1975, Brennan’s has been exploiting turtles for entertainment and profit by holding races, which it calls “the world’s stupidest sport”. 

Turtle specialist Brittany Michelson organized the demonstration along with Cory Mac a’Ghobhainn with Los Angeles for Animals, and Anita Liao of Los Angeles Animal Defense League. Michelson told pub goers the animals belong in peaceful, natural environments, not forced to amuse humans for cheap thrills. 

“Turtles are not toys. They are sentient beings who experience stress and fear when subjected to loud, rowdy settings,” said Brittany Michelson, Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals and founder of Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary in Arizona. “It is long past time for Brennan’s to end its tradition of animal exploitation. These turtles deserve to live in a peaceful outdoor environment, not used as tools for entertainment.”

On race night at Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, a captive turtle is held dangerously high to be displayed to a rowdy crowd in a pub flooded with bright lights and amplified sound. Photo: In Defense of Animals 

Brennan’s is a crowded venue which subjects turtles to the shouts and screams of a boisterous crowd. Dozens of rowdy customers bet on a winner while an emcee directs the event over powerful loudspeakers. The setting is overwhelming for many humans, let alone for turtles which are sensitive wild animals. 

Reptile experts have called this environment inhumane and have raised serious concerns about the short and long-term health consequences of the chronic fear and stress it causes in these sensitive animals. 

Brennan's website states that turtle racing is the “real sport of kings,” but animal exploitation is nothing to boast about. 

The bar also refers to the turtle races as a tradition, but there is no reason to perpetuate animal cruelty. Traditions that abuse non-consenting animals for entertainment and profit must end. 

Through an In Defense of Animals’ alert, over 11,000 animal defenders have contacted Brennan's and its operating partner, Artisanal Brewers Collective asking Brennan’s to end its turtle races and replace them with an alternate activity that does not involve live animals. 

Former Baywatch actress and In Defense of Animals supporter Alexandra Paul is also voicing her support for Brennan’s to show mercy and end the turtle races. 

Former Los Angeleno and Baywatch actress Alexandra Paul is speaking out to stop the abusive turtle races at Brennan’s: Photo: Alexandra Paul

“Brennan’s itself calls turtle racing the 'world’s stupidest sport,' but has been organizing these races for nearly half a century,” said former Baywatch actress and In Defense of Animals supporter Alexandra Paul. “It is time for Brennan’s to get smart and stop this cruel practice, which turtle experts agree is inhumane. There are many other forms of entertainment to offer that don’t involve harming animals.”


### NOTES ###


CONTACT: In Defense of Animals, Brittany Michelson,, 928-420-0727

In Defense of Animals is an international animal rescue and protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, the environment, and their guardians through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, rural Mississippi and California.

Los Angeles for Animals and Los Angeles Animal Defense League are grassroots groups that organize animal rights demonstrations. LAFA is currently working hard on the Free Billy the elephant campaign at the Los Angeles Zoo and ADL is mainly focused on anti-fur campaigns. 

You can support our work by donating