During the Monday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams, two animal rights protesters invaded the field, and the second one was tackled by the Rams’ pro bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The first protester, wearing a t-shirt that said “Right to Rescue,” ran on the field in San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium during the first quarter but was caught by security, SFGate reported.
The second protester made it further, leading security on a chase until Wagner tackled him to the ground, assisted by his teammate Takkarist McKinley, NBC Sports reported.
THE TRADITION IS BACK! Idiot On The Field, as called by Kevin Harlan: pic.twitter.com/5oRvHo0qTJ
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 4, 2022
Since the protesters were carrying pink smoke bombs across the field, at first, the announcers thought it was perhaps some sort of gender reveal.
But the protesters were from a group in the Bay area called Direct Action Everywhere, and they said they were protesting on behalf of members Wayne Hsiung and Paul Darwin Picklesimer, who allegedly broke into Utah’s Circle Four Farms, took two piglets and are now facing criminal charges, SFGate reported.
“That guy is headed to the slammer,” announcer Kevin Harlan said after the second protester was tackled and taken off the field.
Later, Direct Action Everywhere tweeted a press release, not apologizing for what happened, but advocating for the members who are on trial for stealing the piglets from the Utah farm.
“BREAKING: Activist disrupts MNF game with pink smoke flare to elevate the #SmithfieldTrial and support the #RightToRescue. If the masses are not allowed to see the trial, we will bring the issue to the masses,” the organization tweeted.
BREAKING: Activist disrupts MNF game with pink smoke flare to elevate the #SmithfieldTrial and support the #RightToRescue. If the masses are not allowed to see the trial, we will bring the issue to the masses. Press release at https://t.co/lvGRZp6CeD pic.twitter.com/XBlGBtxYFV
— Direct Action Everywhere (@DxEverywhere) October 4, 2022
The press release from the activist group then went on to outline that Hsiung and Picklesimer “rescued” the pigs because they were sick and mistreated and to claim the resulting criminal charges they were facing “typifies a troubling pattern of repression via a justice system that has been weaponized by powerful political interests … and is at odds with the public’s interest in transparency and due process.”
This group has staged protests like this at other major sporting events, such as the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 8, USA TODAY Sports reported.
The group also protested at NBA playoff games, particularly at three separate Minnesota Timberwolves games, SFGate reported.
The video of the pitch invader spread across Twitter and got particularly popular after the “Manningcast” shared it — with analysis from the Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton.
“Yes! That’s what we’re talking about. Wagner, a veteran, right, get him down, now get out and let these (security) guys take over,” Peyton commented.
Manningcast commentary on streaker getting lit up by Bobby Wagner pic.twitter.com/f8yRAeYjYI
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 4, 2022
Wagner has been playing in the NFL for 11 years and, despite the Rams’ loss to the 49ers, managed to get five tackles in the first half of the game, NBC Sports reported.
“While it surely was not the second protester’s intention to end up on Wagner’s highlight reel, they can now say they have been tackled by the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker who is likely headed to the Hall of Fame,” SFGate noted. “Granted, the incident showed how painful it can be to take a hit from an NFL defender.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.