Under Armour has ended its endorsement deal with hunter and fitness star Sarah Bowmar after she posted a video to YouTube of her husband Josh brutally spearing a black bear to earth with a 7-foot homemade spear, The Daily Mirror first reported.
The 13-minute footage was posted to the couple’s Bowmar Bowhunting channel in June and was captured in Alberta, Canada using a GoPro camera, which was attached to the weapon used to slaughter the animal.
Both Bowmars — who also co-own the Bomar Fitness supplement and online coaching company — are wearing Under Armour clothing in the video, which was viewed more than 200,000 times but has now been removed. (The video, which contains very graphic content, can be viewed on The Daily Mirror.)
Commenters on social media were particularly perturbed by the joy Bowmar appeared to show on killing the animal — cheering to the camera and fist-bumping his wife. Meanwhile, animal campaigners expressed concerns the bear could have taken up to 20 hours to die, The Daily Mirror reported.
The video sparked a petition, signed by more than 4,000 supporters, calling on Under Armour to drop its sponsorship of the Bowmars.
In fact, only Sarah Bowmar is an Under Armour athlete and was signed by the Baltimore-based sports apparel firm to star in its first-ever women’s hunting campaign, “The Women of Will,” in January this year.
The petition read: “Regardless of their impressive fitness techniques, Under Armour needs to drop their sponsorship of Bowmar Fitness immediately. In video after video, these two showed a sickening pleasure in the suffering and death of the animals they hunted (usually for fun). It is disgraceful for a company like Under Armour to be associated with Josh Bowmar and his fitness and hunting businesses.”
Under Armour confirmed it had dropped its deal with Sarah Bowmar on Friday.
An Under Armour spokesperson told Business Insider: “Under Armour is ending its relationship with Sarah Bowmar, the wife of Josh Bowmar. The method used to harvest this animal was reckless and we do not condone it. Under Armour is dedicated to the hunting community and supports hunting that is conducted in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and hunting practices that ensure a responsible and safe harvest of the animal.”
Bowmar reacted on Twitter by expressing her confusion at Under Armour severing ties with her.
She then proceeded to retweet messages of support from her fans.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the Alberta environment ministry had described the Bowmar video as “archaic” and “unacceptable,” and that a ban on spear hunting is being introduced this fall.
A spokesperson said for the ministry in a statement: “In the meantime, we have asked Fish and Wildlife officers to investigate this incident to determine if charges are warranted under existing laws.”
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