We thought it was all fun and games when we posted this video of Manu Ginobili swatting down a rogue bat on Halloween. We neglected to take into account the rabid bat-lovers among our readership.
PETA, of course, already weighed in on this. But the beauty of the new Deadspin layout is that readers can contact us directly, and in this case rip us as if we were the bat-murderers.
A sample of our fan mail:
What an ignorant Neanderthal! There was no need to kill the bat. Bats rarely contract and transmit rabies, and when they do, it is by a bite. Let's hope the bat had a chance to bite the bastard when before it died, and even better, it was rabid.
Susan Barnard, Editor
Bats in Captivity
(Editor's note: Manu got 16 preventative rabies shots. You win this round, Susan Barnard.)
Killing harmless and beneficial animals is not funny, even on Halloween. Its sick! Your reference to the "bloodsucker" is in very poor taste, implying that a tiny insectivorous bat is somehow a vampire. Although I don't know in what state this game took place, generally bats are protected wildlife, and wanton killing is hardly in the best interests of our wildlife populations. Surely you are not so ignorant as to believe that a good bat is a dead bat! I suggest you go to batcon.org and catch up on your education.
Bats are as important to our ecosystem as humans, and dare I say are much more beneficial than basketball players. Bats are some of the most harmless creatures on earth, but I wish that poor bat has the power to cruelly kill that Manu Ginobli. It would have been in self defense.
(Editor's note: No, that reader's last name was not "Wayne.")
Bat death is a serious offence across all of Europe.
Your post seems very insensitive to those of us who work to conserve bats.
Vice-president, Durham Bat Group.
We should not be glorifying this man! Bats are innocent animals, not the vampires and bloodsuckers of fiction. If it had been a kitten on the court, would he have stepped on it? No. So why couldn't he just grab the bat and safely release it outside, or call animal control to capture and release it? I think he released the bat himself just so he could be on TV, and you are giving him the attention he wants! If any teenagers try to copy what they saw, and kill bats, this will be on your head.
Okay, let's do this for posterity. I am not in favor of bat murder. I did not kill that bat; that was a professional basketball player, who probably doesn't read this site, and certainly doesn't read my e-mails.
But a serious question for the bat-lovers. Why did I get more angry e-mails over this than any time I've written a post making fun of dogfighting?
[UPDATE:] Has Manu been unjustly accused?
Manu gave the bat to an usher. The usher took it outside and it flew away. Im a officer at the ATT center and I saw it my damn self.
Peta... did you see the professional athletes run like kids when the bat swooped the floor. This is TEXAS. We have millions of those things and we even sell their poop.
Peta... grow up. Go bother the circus and leave MANU alone.