Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has sent a letter to New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn blasting the city's horse-drawn carriage industry over an incident that occurred during LGBT Pride Weekend last month.
Navratilova, who was recently at Wimbledon as a TV commentator and player in the senior doubles, wrote on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
She blasted the 'aggressive homophobia' of a carriage driver who was caught on video unleashing a disturbing string of anti-gay and racial epitaphs at women who were distributing leaflets, according to Towleroad.com.
Wrote Navratilova: 'As any animal lover will tell you, the carriage drivers you support spew hate when anyone expresses concern for the horses they force to work in all weather extremes, and during Pride weekend it was captured on video: 'You have a big dyke convention here?' shouted the driver at a small group of women, mostly seniors, who were peacefully leafleting near where the carriages line up. 'F**king ni**er,' he said to a black woman in the group. How can you support such a scurrilous industry that spouts racist and homophobic vitriol?'
'Many PETA advocates, including me, are gay,' she added. 'We share a heightened sense of responsibility in fighting the callous disregard that many have for animal suffering because we have experienced a similar disregard for the cruelty that we ourselves have faced. You are a champion of gay rights; won't you extend your compassion to the city's beleaguered working animals?'
'As evidenced by the hateful, bigoted carriage driver in the video, everything about this industry is stuck in the 19th century. Help us move into a more civilized future.'