Donkey basketball endures despite some protests -- chicagotribune.com
- Invented in the 1930s, the "sport" where humans mount the beasts of burden and shoot hoops was seen as affordable Depression-era entertainment. The game morphed through the years into a popular fundraising vehicle for schools and other organizations.
But animal rights groups are crying foul. They contend the donkeys are mistreated by participants and handlers. Pressured by organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, some school districts have canceled individual donkey basketball events and others have banned the spectacles altogether.
It's popular in Moravia, Iowa:
The town's population is 680, and there were 600 in the gym.
"Some of these towns, there just ain't nothing to do. When you come to a town like this, it's just really good. Everyone has a good time," said Kenny Schappacher of Ohio-based Buckeye Donkey Ball, which put on the show here.
Why is it so much fun?
A donkey might buck, or it might duck, causing its rider to slide off. Sometimes, the donkey just decides to lie down. Players are allowed to dismount and pull a donkey by its lead. The donkeys, of course, are reluctant to budge. The spills and futile attempts at coaxing uncooperative donkeys prompted laughter and finger-pointing from spectators.