Bullfighter Francisco Rivera with his daughter Carmen at work Photo: Francisco Rivera, InstagramThere are things you can’t do with babies in public any more, at least without the risk of being flamed on social media. Like smoke in their faces. Or show them to a crocodile, as the late Steve Irwin did. Or dangle them off a balcony, as the late Michael Jackson did.
To that growing list we can now add, fight a bull.
A Spanish matador, dubbed the “David Beckham of bullfighting”, has provoked outrage after posting a picture of himself on Instagram at work with his five-month-old daughter.
To him, having his daughter on his hip while he practised on a young bull meant honouring a family tradition.
“Carmen’s debut. She’s the fifth generation of bullfighters in our family. My granddad was a bullfighter as well as my dad,” Francisco Rivera Ordonez wrote in a caption [as translated].
“My dad did this with me and I’ve done it with my daughters Cayetana and now with Carmen”.
But to critics such as the comedian Ricky Gervais, it was an abomination. Mental, dangerous & cruel. With or without a baby. https://t.co/KOEH2ZLEyG— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 26, 2016
More than 12,000 people have liked the post on Instagram, and the bullfighter followed up with a matching photo of himself as a boy with his father, captioned: “History repeats itself. The best legacy alive, feeling, purity, honour”.
Fellow bullfighter Manuel Diaz followed suit, tweeting a picture of himself also carrying a child in the bullring: “What’s the problem in showing our children a profession that we love and is filled with values?” ¿Dónde está el problema de enseñar a nuestros hijos una profesión que amamos y está llena de valores? pic.twitter南京夜网/pYvH3qo9sH— El Cordobés (@mdelcordobes) January 25, 2016
But animal rights activists and child protection advocates are having none of it. Furious critics accused Rivera of animal cruelty as well as putting his daughter’s life in danger. Government ministers weighed in.
The Equality Minister Maria Jose Sanchez said: “A fireman wouldn’t dream of taking a child to a fire nor would a football player run around with a child in their arms during a match.”
Ordonez stood his ground, arguing: “There is no safer place for her to be than in my arms.”
The child protection agency in his native Andalucía is investigating whether he has broken any laws, The Guardian reported.
“It isn’t right in any circumstances to put a child at risk,” Alfonso Alonso, the acting Minister of Social Security, was quoted as saying.
Some traditions die hard. The bullfighter’s father, famous torero Francisco Rivera Pérez, known as “Paquirri”, was fatally gored by a bull in 1984 at the age of 36, The Guardian reported.
Rivera himself underwent life-saving surgery last year after he was gored in the stomach during a fight. Debut de Carmen , es la 5 generación que torea en nuestra familia . Mi abuelo toreo así con mi padre . Mi padre toreo así conmigo , y yo lo he hecho con mis hijas Cayetana y ahora con Carmen #orgullodesangreA photo posted by Francisco Rivera (@f.r.paquirri) on Jan 24, 2016 at 12:57pm PST
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.