A cheerleader at Texas Tech University faced intense backlash, including death threats, from thousands of people around the world after she began a social media contest to find the “hottest” male hunter.
Kendall Jones, 19, who garnered similar criticism last year for photos she posted online of herself posing with animals she had killed on African safaris, called for men on Facebook to submit pictures of them alongside their best and biggest kills. Last year’s controversy included a petition to ban Jones from Africa, where she has been traveling to hunt since she was a young teen, and the young woman’s newest stunt got similar reactions from animal rights proponents.
“[Applause] for the day your gun fails and the lion tears u apart,” one critic wrote on Jones’ Facebook page.
Jones immediately responded to the backlash by offering insight as to why she chose to hold the competition in the first place.
“The real reason I did this whole competition was to prove that what really pisses off the anti-hunting crowd is not that I hunt, or that I pose with my trophies, or that I’m proud of my achievements. It’s the fact that I'm a girl and I'm doing those things,” Jones wrote. “I'm NEVER going to stop. I'm proud to hunt, proud to cheer, proud to wear makeup, and especially PROUD TO BE ME!”
Following her response, Jones received comments from thousands of critics, with some clarifying that their disdain for what she does has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman.
“You may love your makeup but it doesn't hide the monster you are,” Facebook user Jennifer Skean said.
“I don't care the slightest bit that you're a women. I'm just an average guy who cares about the fact that you're just willing to kill an animal that just simply doesn't need to be killed,” another, Matt Phillips, wrote. “Do you really need to kill a lion/cheetah?”
“What warped pleasure would you get from killing these beautiful cats? or an elephant, rhino ... etc?” Rick Nally asked.
Jones did pick a winner — North Carolina man Trey Moore — but the contest was ultimately overshadowed by the criticism that surrounded it.
“You're not a hunter,” one critic said. “You're an idiot.”