BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A mink coat formerly owned by a Crimson Tide football icon is being sought after by an unlikely bidder.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal rights group better known as PETA, sent out a statement Wednesday asking that Joe Namath, the quarterback who led the University of Alabama to a national championship in 1964 before making his mark in the NFL with the New York Jets, donate one of his mink coats to the group.
Namath, known for his flamboyant fashion taste as an athlete, was often seen wearing mink coats on the sidelines of Jets games.
One of his coats is currently up for auction at Heritage Auctions. As of Thursday, its current bid is $9,250.
“While nothing can bring back the minks who were killed for Joe Namath’s coat, it could still give some much-needed warmth to those in desperate need,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a statement. “PETA is encouraging the NFL legend to score a touchdown for kindness by donating these minks’ remains instead of trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of them.”
In their statement, PETA officials said that through their donation center, Namath’s jacket could be used as bedding for orphaned animals at wildlife rehabilitation centers or for people in need at refugee camps and homeless shelters.
The group previously criticized Namath for wearing a coyote skin jacket during the 2014 Super Bowl.
The auction will be held on August 27 and end the next day. Experts at Heritage Auctions believe bids for the coat could go as high as $20,000.