March 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM ET
Mike Tyson and "Angry Birds"? No, they're not his racing pigeons, although they could be, according to PETA.
The boxer is the star of a spoof video gone viral, "Mike Tyson, Angry Birds and the iPad 2," from SportsNationEPSN, in which a nerd glued to his iPad, playing "Angry Birds" gets the tablet slapped away by Tyson.
"Is your addiction to 'Angry Birds" ruining your life? Would you like to stop playing, but can’t tear yourself away?" Tyson says in the video. "I can help cure your 'Angry Birds' addiction in just three easy steps" — then he knocks the tablet out of the nerd's hands —"well, really, uh, in one easy step."
An announcer voice-over follows: "Mike Tyson's one-step 'Angry Birds' addiction cure can help YOU. Now available for the iPad 2."
Tyson, of course, didn't do the video to promote "Angry Birds" — it's really an opportunity for him to mention his new TV show, "Taking on Tyson," which is about competitive pigeon racing. It's a "hobby" that may have earned him a spot on the Animal Channel, but has also garnered a lot of heat from animal rights group PETA.
"If Mike Tyson truly loved birds, he would fight for their protection — not force them into a 'race' that tears them away from their families and subjects them to injuries, exhaustion and death," said Lisa Lange, PETA vice president, in a statement. The group recently picketed Tyson's Nevada home.
"Pigeons raised in rooftop coops have few real-world survival skills," PETA says on its blog. Its caseworkers "have fielded frantic calls from people who have found exhausted, injured, or starving birds. A pigeon-racing industry veterinarian admitted that most lost birds starve to death."
Tyson has insisted his pigeons are treated well. If turnabout is fair play, maybe the next version of "Angry Birds" can have our feathered friends hurled at miniature Mike Tysons, instead of pigs.
More about "Angry Birds":