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This U.S. soccer star is under fire for performing soccer moves over a grouper fish

USMNT soccer star Christian Pulisic has been criticized by an animal rights group for his moves on a fish

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United States’ Christian Pulisic (10) kicks a penalty kick for a goal against Mexico.

United States’ Christian Pulisic (10) kicks a penalty kick for a goal against Mexico during extra time in the CONCACAF Nations League championship soccer match, Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Denver. He has been criticized by an animal rights group for his actions.

Jack Dempsey, Associated Press

U.S. soccer star Christian Pulisic has faced criticism recently for a video he posted on social media involving a goliath grouper fish.

  • The grouper fish is considered a vulnerable species.

U.S. star Christian Pulisic goes viral over soccer moves

A viral video of Pulisic showed the U.S. National Team star performing soccer tricks while sitting on the edge of a boat above the grouper fish, which had been hooked by the boat.

  • But then Pulisic loses balance and falls on top of the fish. The fish then flails around in the water. Pulisic then jumps back on the boat.

Why people are mad at Christian Pulisic

The Blue Planet Society — “a self-funded, volunteer pressure group campaigning to end the overexploitation of the world’s ocean,” according to the group — reposted the video and criticized the soccer star.

  • “Abusing a threatened goliath grouper for a social media video is a new low,” the group said on social media.

The Blue Planet Society told CNN that Pulisic violated rules of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which says that photographs and activities shouldn’t delay the release of hooked fish.

  • “We originally posted and commented on the video because the goliath grouper is classified as threatened by the IUCN Red List and protected by law in the USA,” Blue Planet Society told CNN in a statement.
  • “Animal abuse to attract attention for social media videos appears to be on the increase. We believe strongly that people should be called out for it — especially when they are as influential as Mr. Pulisic,” the group said.

Why grouper fish are vulnerable

Per Goal.com, the fish are often found in the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Caribbean and Brazil. The fish are considered a “vulnerable” species, which means there’s not a lot of immediate concern for them being extinct.

  • “However, due to the fact that they tend to spawn in large aggregations and return annually to the same locations, this makes them vulnerable to mass harvesting,” according to Goal.com.