NEW YORK--People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is at it again. The radical animal rights group is now targeting TNT basketball analyst Marv Albert for wearing a dead animal on his head during NBA broadcasts. The group contends that it is inhumane to kill an animal and wear it as a toupee, and demanded Albert remove it immediately.

“What kind of message is that sending to kids, that it’s OK to ruthlessly murder animals for your own personal use?” asked PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “This is really a despicable display of animal cruelty and degradation. And worse yet, it doesn’t even look good. It looks like shit. Be bald and be proud, Marv, and don’t drag the animal kingdom down into your pathetic vanity.”

Newkirk and her PETA cronies have been picketing outside Continental Airlines Arena, where Albert is doing commentary for the Knicks-Nets series, for the past three nights.

Dozens of animal rights activists have joined the fray, chanting slogans and carrying signs that read “Animals should be respected, not placed on your scalp”, “Marv Albert is leading the animal holocaust”, and “Why the fuck don’t you just use Rogaine?”

The protest was largely peaceful until Sunday afternoon, when Albert attempted to make his way through the throng of people. The crowd began chanting “murderer” and one overzealous woman actually attempted to pull the animal carcass off Albert’s head. She was dragged away by police as she screamed “free Marv Albert’s hairpiece!”

PETA is known for it’s aggressive pro-animal rights stance. The controversial group has ruffled feathers in the past with its unconventional, in-your-face tactics and bold statements comparing animal abuse with, among other things, the Nazi Holocaust. The latest crusade has drawn more ridicule from the general public, most of who believe Albert has a right to wear whatever he wants on his head.

“Hey, that’s his business. If he wants to wear a skunk carcass on his head, who are we to judge?” asked Gil Vernon of Long Island, who attended Game 1 at Madison Square Garden. “It’s not like he killed the thing. It was already dead. From what I hear, he saw it on the side of the road one night, saw that it matched his hair color, and slapped it on his head. It’s just as well. It would’ve just been picked up by Animal Control officer and incinerated anyway. At least now it’s going to good use. Well, not good use, exactly, but use nonetheless.”

There are several stories going around about the origin of the hairpiece, but Albert is not revealing how and where he acquired it. He would only reiterate that it was dead when he found it, and he is doing nothing wrong in wearing it on his head.

“I have a right as an American to wear a deceased member of the rodent family on my skull for the purposes of follicle enhancement,” Albert told reporters after the game. “I’m not about to remove it now because this animal rights group thinks I’ve done something wrong. I haven’t. I’m simply exercising my God-given right to wear a hideous hairpiece.”

Albert would not confirm or deny rumors that the hairpiece is made from the carcass of a dead skunk that was run down in front of his home in upstate New York. But his broadcast partner, Bill Walton, reported that the rumor is true.

“Yes, of course it’s a skunk. I smelled it the first night he wore it,” said Walton. “I explained to him that something smelled funny, and that there was a white tail hanging down the back of his neck. He thanked me and removed the tail. Then he took care of the smell, too, and now I think it looks sensational. It’s probably one of the greatest hairpieces in the history of the NBA. Now would you people please leave the man alone? He’s just trying to make a living. If I had a dime for every dead animal I cloaked over my nude body in ritualistic fashion, I’d…Oh, um…forget it.”

There are currently no laws that prohibit the wearing of animal carcasses on the head. PETA is facing an uphill battle if it wants to rescue the dead skunk from Albert’s head, but that won’t stop them from trying. The relentless group vows not to let up until the head of Marv Albert is covered in something that doesn’t come from the animal kingdom.

“It’s a disgrace that Mr. Albert refuses to remove the skunk from his skull,” said Newkirk. “He should do it on his own, out of the goodness of his own heart, but his refusal is forcing us to take matters into our own hands. How would you feel if the dead body of one of your loved ones was being used as a wig for some TV personality.? I bet you’d feel pretty bad. Well, this is the same thing. That skunk had a family that misses him, and if they ever got a glimpse of Marv, they would be devastated. They’d also be embarrassed for the guy, like we all are.”

One of PETA’s favorite tactics is to ambush people wearing fur coats and douse them with red paint. They may try the same tactic with Albert if he doesn’t succumb to their demands.

“Fur is murder!” exclaimed Newkirk. “Meat is murder, too! And so is Marv Albert’s toupee. What kind of sick person would wear a corpse on their head? This is no different than the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, or the 9/11 atrocities--except this time it’s with an animal, and its only one of them, and its already dead, and its being worn as a wig. But still, in essence it’s the same thing. Trust me. I’m in PETA. My statements have al the credibility in the world. Just look how well-respected we are.”

PETA Demands Marv Albert Remove Dead Animal From His Head
April 20, 2004 - Volume 1 Issue 45