The Story of ‘Batmanu’

Not many people think of Manu Ginobili as an Animal Control employee. That is because not many people know that Ginobili has caught an animal before.

In late 2009, coincidentally on the day after Halloween, during a game between the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs, a bat was spotted in

AT&T Center. After circling around the arena for a few minutes and causing the game to be delayed, the bat decided to descend onto the court and make the worst mistake of its life. It went near Manu Ginobili. The bat sped by many players and referees and when it passed Ginobili, he decided to smack the bat onto the floor with his bare hands. After giving the unconscious bat to an arena worker, Manu got his hands sanitized by a team trainer.

After the incident, many websites weighed in with their opinion. ESPN wrote an article detailing the experience and Peta had some harsh remarks toward Manu. Peta said, “To bludgeon a 4-ounce animal to death, it takes either a small man or a totally unthinking one—with no respect or consideration for lives humbler than his own. This is a time when athletes in particular need to be on their best behavior around any animal and show that they have brains and a heart, not just reactionary brawn.”

Within a few days, Ginobili went to Twitter to say, “Just wanted to give you guys an update on the bat situation. As many of you already know, it wasn’t a great idea. Not only for the fact that bats are great part of the ecosystem, but also, because some carry rabies, which is an incurable disease. I had to get vaccinated today [and it was not only one shot!].” With Manu’s apparent apology, the great story of ‘Batmanu’ ended.


Happy 40th Birthday Manu Ginobili!

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