You may have heard about this "controversy" today. Apparently, a clip surfaced on YouTube of Mets star pitcher Pedro Martinez and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal were at a cockfight in the Dominican Republic two years ago, and both were there as "honored guests."
This has rubbed a lot of people in the US the wrong way, especially those PETA lunatics. While most folks here, including myself, find the act of two roosters battling to the death to be pretty repulsive, it is not illegal in the Dominican Republic, and it is something that seems to be ingrained as a sport for many of that culture. A good comparison would be that of bullfighting, which has a long history as a sport in Mexico and Spain. It is also something illegal in the US, and something that doesn't appeal to me as entertainment.
And I find the comparisons to Michael Vick and the dogfighting ring he led to be pretty ridiculous. The only thing they have in common is that both dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in the US (however, New Mexico is still the lone state that hasn't banned cockfighting). Vick did something ILLEGAL, and made money off of it, and deserved to go to prison. If Martinez was RUNNING a cockfighting ring in the US (or even appeared at one here), that would be some serious trouble for him. Pedro probably showed bad judgment in going to that fight, even if it was totally legal in his home country. It's like a star athlete going into a strip club. It's not wrong by the law, it's just that it doesn't look good.
Apparently, PETA sent letters to Pedro, Marichal and Bud Selig, and wants Pedro to undergo "animal sensitivity training," the one that Vick had to after he was convicted on dogfighting charges. Fat chance of that happening. He issued a statement defending his appearance at it.
To me, this whole thing is a big non-issue. It doesn't impact baseball, and Martinez did not do anything illegal. He should use better judgment in the future, knowing that being at one of those fights will not endear himself to many people in the land where he made his name.