The Labour leader, who is a keen supporter of the Premier League club based in his Islington North constituency in north London, said the American billionaire should concentrate on football after the unveiling of his new My Outdoor TV channel, which will show the killing of lions, elephants and other potentially endangered species.
The channel, which was launched at the Game Fair in Hertfordshire, is owned by Outdoor Sportsman Group, part of Kroenke Sport Entertainment.
It promises to show “thousands of hunting, fishing and shooting episodes featuring the biggest names in outdoor TV ... how-to videos and even wild game recipes”.
One of the programmes, Dark Continent Quest, follows renowned hunter Jana Waller, who is seen stalking game with a bow and arrow. The channel has insisted it will only show hunts that are “ethical and fair chase”.
Corbyn said he was “appalled at the glorification of killing wild and rare animals on this TV channel”.
“As an Arsenal fan I’m disgusted that Stan Kroenke is involved in such a brutal, unethical and unnecessary activity. This is not sport. Kroenke should stick to football if he wants to be involved in sport. ‘Blood sport’ is a contradiction and there should be no place on television or anywhere else for it,” the Labour leader said.
Trophy hunting has come under increasing public scrutiny, with American dentist Walter Palmer the target of a online hate campaign after it was revealed he had shot and killed a protected lion called Cecil, who was being tracked as part of a study by Oxford University.
Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr and Eric Trump also attracted worldwide criticism for posing with a leopard they shot on a hunting trip to Africa.
Philippa King, the chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, called the launch of the channel a “massive own goal” for Kroenke and the club.
“We’re living in a world now where most people can see how brutal and shameful trophy hunting is, yet the Arsenal boss is choosing to launch his sick TV channel in the UK,” she said.
“The channel claims to show ‘ethical, fair chase and legal’ hunting. Most people won’t agree that trophy hunting is in any way ethical, and studies have debunked claims that most of the blood money goes towards supporting conservation. I’m not sure in what way an idiot with a gun against an elephant is a fair chase.
“Mr Kroenke could do the world a great favour by stopping peddling this kind of sickening TV and turning his focus on helping the animals he apparently likes to see killed.”
When contacted by the Guardian, Arsenal FC indicated the channel’s launch was a matter for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
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