Russians And Roosters And Bears, Oh My!

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A lot of crazy things go down in Russia. Ever see those Youtube compilation videos of Russian drivers? Almost everyone has a dash cam on their car and after witnessing how people drive on the road over there, it makes sense. There’s one video where a semi-truck crosses over to the opposite side of the road and crashes into another semi truck. The driver of the second semi-truck narrowly escapes by jumping out of the cracked windshield, landing perfectly on his feet, and walking off like it was nothing. Our Eastern European friends are a seemingly unfazed bunch. However, two events this past week have caught the attention of the rest of the world making people wonder again, “What is going on in Russia?”
This past Sunday during a soccer match between club teams Fakel Voronezh and Luch-Energiya Vladivostok, a fan brought a rooster with him to the game. He picked up the bird, threw it onto the field, and then celebrated by yelling and making obscene gestures. Other fans then joined in shouting, “Grigoryan is a rooster.” The term “Rooster” in Russia is used as a homophobic slur. Alexander Grigoryan is Vladivostok’s coach and is pretty unpopular among the fans. He has been a constant victim of fan abuse and has even received threatening phone calls in the past.
Since he used to coach a local rival team, the Vladivostok coach is seen as a traitor among the fans. This most recent incident of bird-throwing has taken the abuse to another level. Vladivostok was winning the match with a 1-0 lead, but after the incident, they ended up losing 3-1. The Russian Football Union is now looking into possible punishment.
Prior to this, instead of roosters making an appearance at a Russian soccer match, on Saturday, there was a bear. Before a match between teams Angusht and Mashuk-KMV, a bear named Tim was used to entertain the crowd. The bear was clapping, hopping up and down, and before the start of the match, handed off the ball to the referee. A video of the performing bear went viral, resulting in a stream of complaints from animal rights groups.
Watch the video here.
The announcer at the match claimed the bear would also perform in the World Cup‘s opening ceremony in June. Animal rights groups are not having it. They believe the act is inhumane. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement regarding the abuse the bear, along with other performing animals, endure. The bears at a young age are trained by beatings, electric shocks, cigarette burns, and starvation. Not only that, but the teeth and claws of the bear are also removed. The Russian people are defending their decision to use Tim. To them, the bear is a symbol of their country and it was with pride and not disdain that they viewed the performance with. Well there you have it, folks– just another average day in Mother Russia.


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