A Spanish matador has courted the wrath of social media after posting a picture on Instagram of himself holding his baby daughter with one hand and battling a bloodied bull with the other.
Battling bulls is a tricky business at the best of times, even when they’re drugged, lame, or senseless with agony, but it’s probably not advised to take on even the frailest and most gentle of bullocks while casually holding your 5-month-old daughter.
Francisco Rivera Ordonez did, and the matador dubbed the “David Beckham of bullfighting” was so proud of introducing his baby girl to his bloodsport of choice that, like any proud dad, he couldn’t wait to share the image on social media, with the caption, “Carmen’s debut.”
The proud matador then elaborated on what a joyful occasion it was for the entire family as little Carmen got a chance to watch her daddy fight a bull.
“She is the fifth generation of my family to fight. My granddad was a bullfighter as well as my dad.”
However, as any agent provocateur who has endured the self-righteous fury of public mouthpieces such as Ricky Gervais know all too well, any post endorsing bullfighting is guaranteed to attract the wrath of indignant social media users quicker than you can say, “It’s a trend folks.”
Consequently, a post of a proud daddy fighting a bull while lovingly holding his baby girl is like painting a bullseye on your forehead and asking, “Who’s the best shot amongst you self-opinionated clowns.”
And much like a red rag to a bull, the tide of public opinion broke savagely against Francisco’s Instagram post in a big way.
The Express reports that top Spanish politician Maria Jose Sanchez let Francisco have it with both barrels and snarled, “A firefighter wouldn’t dream of taking a child to put out a fire.”
And it wasn’t just social media users and politicians who were alarmed by Francisco’s flighty ways.
The Child Protection Agency in Andalucia, where Francisco lives, has launched a probe into the incident depicted in the picture to see if the bullfighter has committed an illegal act.
“It is a situation of unnecessary risk for a minor. We absolutely reject this and will gather information with a view to possibly taking action.”
Yet although it offends other country’s sensibilities, bullfighting is a way of life in Spain and steeped in tradition, which 42-year-old Francisco maintains he was merely upholding and passing onto his daughter, who he claims was in the safest place possible.
“There is no safer place for her to be than in my arms.”
In the face of the social media backlash, fellow bullfighter Manuel Diaz defended his fellow matador on Twitter and asked a critical world, “What’s the problem in showing our children a profession that we love and is filled with values?”
Prominent animal right activist and multi-millionaire funny man Ricky Gervais didn’t answer the question but instead chose to inform his 10 million Twitter followers that Francisco’s post was “[m]ental, dangerous and cruel, With or without a baby.”
Meanwhile, Francisco opted to post a similar picture of himself as a boy with his bullfighting daddy alongside the caption, “History repeats itself. The best legacy alive – feeling, purity, honor.”
Francisco’s father died during a bullfight in 1984, and Francisco himself underwent life-saving surgery after he was gored by a bull only last year. So this is one matador who knows all about the risks of bullfighting. The question is: Should he have exposed his 5-month-old daughter to those same risks?
[Image via Instagram]