Beach Boys Tangle Over Trophy Hunting and Donald Trump Jr.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
RENO, Nev. -- A founding member of the Beach Boys is protesting a performance by the famous band's offshoot at a trophy-hunting convention in Reno this week, where Donald Trump Jr. will be the keynote speaker.
Brian Wilson signed a petition circulated by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. It calls on fans to steer clear when a version of the group performs at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno.
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the campaign, said 75,000 people have signed the petition.
"Huge numbers of animals, including some of the most endangered species in the world, are slaughtered for sport every year," he said. "It's archaic, it's cruel and it should be consigned to the dustbin of history."
Wilson has said he's emphatically opposed to trophy hunting, but he can't prevent Mike Love, an original Beach Boys member who leads the current group, from playing the venue because Love owns legal rights to the name on tour. Love has defended his decision to play at the event, saying freedom of thought and expression are fundamental American rights. Donald Trump Jr. is a longtime trophy-hunting supporter.
Trump Jr. and his brother Eric have posted controversial hunting photos of themselves on social media with slain animals. Goncalves said an estimated 20,000 animals with protected-species status are killed each year for sport, and many are sold as trophies at conventions such as the Safari Club International. His group believes hunting exemptions should be removed from existing international conservation agreements.
"And as a result, populations of lions and leopards and elephants are falling," Goncalves said, "but it's not even about conservation, it's about the morality of it."
The petition encourages those who sign to stop buying Beach Boys music or going to Beach Boys concerts until the group withdraws from playing at the convention.
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