I Went To A Legal Cockfight In The United States, And It Was Very NSFW

A celebrated, brutal tradition in Puerto Rico.

Cockfighting has been a popular sport in Puerto Rico for hundreds of years.

Here is a Puerto Rican cockfight from 1937.

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And it remains a legal and celebrated sport to this day. Welcome to Club Gallistico de Puerto Rico.

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If you want to watch a cockfight, you have to walk through this door, pay $5, and get patted down by a security guard.

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And when you walk in, this:

Here is how the cockfights happen.

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1. In the upstairs level of the arena, trainers meticulously tape and shave the sharpened talons of their roosters…

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2. …so they will have the most lethal effect against their opponents.

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3. Man holding his cock.

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4. The gamecocks are then put into a smaller plastic container on a conveyor belt and suspended over the entire arena.

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5. The cocks travel along this belt over all the spectators…

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6. …and are then lowered down to the arena like gladiators.

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7. Once the cocks are lowered into the arena, old men wander around yelling bets at each other.

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8. Two officials in red shirts take the gamecocks out and start parading them around, sometimes banging them together.

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9. The cocks are then put in plastic boxes, facing each other.

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10. More bets are yelled across the arena.

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11. And then the box rises, releasing the birds to fight.

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12. The fighting is intense.

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13. And can happen just feet away from the spectators.

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14. The men get very intense and yell, “Kill him!” “Kill him!”

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15. The gamecocks will repeatedly peck and claw one another, and both birds are badly injured.

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16. The matches get louder and bloodier until eventually a judge declares one bird the winner.

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According to The Associated Press, “A winner is declared if one of the animals dies, runs away or falls and fails to get up within one minute.”

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Due to their inhumane, brutal nature, Cockfights are banned in all U.S. states, and it is illegal to even watch a cockfight in 40 states.

But as a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico can live outside of these boundaries.

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17. Wads of cash are thrown to those who bet on the winning cock.


The old men have all the money and count it proudly.

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18. But if your bird dies, you can just carry it around.


Like this guy.

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19. And have a conversation with your buddy while holding your dead bird.

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20. Like at any other sporting event, there’s a full bar.

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21. And plenty of drinks to go around.

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22. As well as fried snacks and cups of ceviche to eat.

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23. If you don’t want to go up and get your drinks and food, waitresses will bring it to you.

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24. “Not your typical Applebee’s.”

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25. You can also buy cockfighting SWAG here.

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26. Along with your own cockfighting kit.

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The boxes to keep the roosters in and the stuffed pets to train them how to fight.

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27. There were many kids there. Some had cockfighting toys.

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A little girl had her first birthday celebration in the middle of the ring.

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The girl was the daughter of one of the owners, and the entire audience was given cupcakes as a mariachi band played “Happy Birthday” to her.

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This is the child’s birthday cake.

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Some roosters were killing each other here moments earlier.

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Maybe all of these creature comforts have led to Club Gallistico’s very positive Trip Advisor review.

And is one of the most successful cockfighting venues in the U.S. territory.

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In 2010, the government of Puerto Rico passed a resolution to protect cockfights as an integral part of the island’s culture.

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The sport also generates millions in revenue per year. So despite the cruelty, it may be around for awhile.

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