By: Sean Gleason
September 30, 2016
September 29, 2016
Dear PBR Fans,
This past week, PBR bullfighter Shorty Gorham led an initiative to secure a pledge uniting all bull riders and bull fighters competing in the Built Ford Tough Series. His efforts were met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Regardless of their nationality, every bull rider and bull fighter signed this pledge:
WE STAND UNITED
We are professional bull riders and bull fighters representing six countries competing on PBR’s largest stage.
We respect the right of all citizens to engage in peaceful protest. It is a fundamental freedom that makes America one of the greatest countries in the world.
For us the choice is clear, WE choose to stand united and without protest during the national anthem of the country in which we are competing.
We stand to honor all men and women whose sacrifice and commitment ensures these freedoms, helps unite the nation, and propels America forward.
Anyone familiar with the sport knows that honoring those who protect and advance our great nation is not a new sentiment among the athletes, stock contractors and others involved. It is in their DNA: the roots of our sport and the cowboy heritage run deep and are woven into the fabric of our country. For twenty three years, PBR athletes have celebrated a genuine love and appreciation of America – including extended members of our bull riding family from Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
The PBR story itself illustrates the American dream. Twenty bull riders each invested $1,000, a sizable sum for a cowboy in that era, to build an organization that would create an enduring legacy for their sport. We have grown exponentially, and we generate incredible economic impact in communities across the country.
I would like to personally thank Shorty for his efforts to confirm the respect that PBR athletes have for America, the flag and our national anthem.
PBR Stands United when it comes to presenting our flag and singing our national anthem. Every athlete who is present during our openings on the arena floor has unanimously, willingly and passionately made this choice. We, as an organization, support their decision.
This is not turning a blind eye to social injustice; our athletes have simply chosen to stand united during the national anthem to honor those who have made sacrifices for our freedom. As an organization, we join them as we continue to honor America proudly, respect our flag and the national anthem, and build on a legacy of unyielding patriotism at our events.
This, of course, is in addition to everything we have been doing since PBR’s founding to honor America, the only place in the world where the dream of Professional Bull Riders could have been born, flourished and ultimately expanded into five countries – and counting.
Chief Executive Officer
Professional Bull Riders, Inc.
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