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19th Jun 2023

Bookies launch innovative way of dealing with pesky protesters

Jack Peat

Hopefully they’ll take off!

A prankster bookie has drawn up plans to protect the British summer of sport from dangerous protesters – by sending demonstrators up in a hot air balloon.

With the Grand National and the World Snooker Championships being targeted by campaign groups recently, Paddy Power is hoping to warn them off by deploying P.E.S.T – the Protestor Exit Support Team.

The team will evacuate campaigners and transport them away from Royal Ascot in a hot air balloon in the shape of a pair of pants – allowing spectators in the stands and at home to enjoy the action uninterrupted.


The bookmaker also commissioned research of 2,000 sports fans which found only the Great British weather is more of a worry when it comes to ruining the sport this summer than dangerous protestors.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said: “We see you problematic protesters, and we’re offering to raise your profile – to a safe altitude of approximately 300 meters.

“Everyone has the right to protest peacefully, but a small minority of activists are wreaking havoc at major sporting events this summer, endangering athletes, animals and spectators with their reckless actions.

“They’re sapping the joy out of one of the purest forms of escapism we’ve got left, and worst of all, they’re making wallies out of His Majesty’s servants by proving they were all clearly rubbish at playing catch when they were kids.

“So, if it’s a high profile these dangerous demonstrators are after, we’ll give it to them, courtesy of our carbon neutral Lucky Pants hot air balloon.”


It also emerged despite 63 per cent being concerned about the prospect of further disruption, 75 per cent recognise the importance of having the right to protest safely and express their views freely.

But 72 per cent also said sporting events should be left alone from dangerous demonstrations – as half believe these should be kept to public spaces.

Of those who want activists to steer clear of sport, 55 per cent worry it could put the athletes, spectators and animals at risk.

While 53 per cent think it is disrespectful to those who have dedicated so much time training for these occasions.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) fear the actions of protestors at sporting events is not helpful when it comes to promoting the causes they are passionate about.

In fact, although 38 per cent typically agree with what’s being campaigned about, they feel it could be done in a more respectful manner, the poll conducted via found.

Four in 10 believe fines should be handed out to those who dangerously march onto the field of play to picket, whereas 37 per cent think arrests need to be made as a result of this action.

However, 39 per cent say the Governments ‘protest removal teams’ are merely doing an ‘adequate’ job at handling disruptive protesters.

And when it comes to the athletes, 57 per cent support those who use their platform to support movements and raise awareness about key issues.

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