Leslie Alexander might not be a household name, but the former securities trader who is the owner and president of the NBA’s Houston Rockets is a major contributor to animal rights groups. He and his wife Nanci are major contributors to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and were guests of honor at PETA’s 21st anniversary celebration. Nanci Alexander’s Animal Rights Foundation of Florida played a major role in the signature drive to place a ban on confinement cages for pigs on the Florida ballot.
But, for these wealthy vegetarians, business is still business. When the Houston Rockets start playing later this year at a brand new arena, Alexander won’t let his animal rights views get in the way of a quick buck — the arena will continue to sell lots and lots of meat.
Alexander actually had the gall to tell the Associated Press that, “In this particular case I have no choice” calling a meatless arena “unreasonable.”
At the current arena the Rockets play, Alexander has no control over the concessions and receives no money from the sale of hot dogs and other items. At the new arena, however, Alexander will have direct control and receive the profits from the concession. Alexander does plan to offer meatless options at concession stands.
Interestingly, PETA is behind Alexander’s decision to vend meat 100 percent. Dan Shannon told the Associated Press,
He’s in charge of his money and his first interest is making sure his investment pays off. I think if he’s offering other options, that will be very exciting and will be a huge step forward in itself.
Everything is becoming clear now. Animals have rights unless some animal rights activist needs to recoup his investment. Sounds like what PETA is really concerned about is that it keeps getting some of Alexander’s money. Wouldn’t want to put principles ahead of wealthy donors.
Rockets’ animal rights-backing owner to sell meat in new arena. Mark Babineck, Associated Press, August 27, 2002.
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