DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – As the Red Wings prepares for tomorrow’s season opener at the new Little Caesars Arena, one animals rights group is hoping to end a storied Detroit tradition.
PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants fans NOT to bring octopuses to the arena to throw onto the ice.
The group says they had not received a response to a letter they sent the Illitch family in April about keeping octopuses off the ice. They want the arena to check incoming fans for concealed octopi, and the National Hockey League to punish fans who bring octopuses to the arena with a lifetime ban.
“Octopuses are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain, and it’s no more acceptable to kill one for such a disrespectful, frivolous, and stupid purpose than it is to throw dead bear cubs onto the ice during a Bruins game,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “Please levy a $5,000 fine against those who bring an octopus into the arena or are caught throwing one on the ice. In addition, immediately eject them from the game and permanently ban them from all future Red Wings games.”
The tradition dates back to the Detroit Red Wings’ days at Olympia Stadium, where the team played from 1927 until 1979. The eight tentacles represent the eight wins needed to win a Stanley Cup Championship in the early days of the NHL.
PETA will hand out toy octopuses to fans before Thursday’s home opener, printed with the words “Respect Animals.”