Kelly Slater’s Answer To Shark Attacks On Surfers: Kill All The Sharks
Kelly Slater is one of the biggest names in surfing -- he's won the World Surf League Championship a record 11 times, including five consecutive titles in 1994–98. But at age 45, it might be time to get out of the water.
Because as we learned in Jaws and all of its sequels, sharks hold grudges.
Slater earned the wrath of environmentalists recently when he called for a cull on sharks on Reunion Island, the French-governed island off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It was the site of a fatal shark attack of a surfer last week. That's the eighth fatal attack in the area since 2011.
Slater, on Instagram this past weekend:
"Honestly, I won't be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday.
"If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this."
He was right when he said he wouldn't be popular. Small sample:
— L Pugh Foundation (@LewisPughFDN) February 26, 2017
— Sharktrooth (@sharktrooth) February 23, 2017
— Blue Planet Society (@Seasaver) February 24, 2017
After initially trying to defend his comments on Twitter by saying that he, too, is an enviromentalist, Slater gave up and apologized.
— Sea Shepherd (@seashepherd) February 28, 2017
Slater on Instagram:
"My heart is in the right place but now I am being vehemently attacked by the people I have most identified with for the majority of my life."
Slater has a record of curious social media decisions. The day after Gene Wilder's death, he Photoshopped a picture of his own face onto the actor's body.
Slater said at the time it was a tribute to the actor and that has mother "did call me Willy my whole childhood".
At any rate, the "we want to surf near a remote island off the coast of Africa, so let's kill all the sharks" comment just didn't play well anywhere in the world, least of all with sharks. Slater is 45 -- much too old to be pissing off Earth's most relentless predator. I'd suggest retirement in a large swimming pool.
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