Spanish matador Francisco Rivero Ordóñez draws outrage bullfighting with baby

/ Source: TODAY

A famous Spanish matador is the subject of a child welfare investigation and social media outrage after posting a photo of him with his baby daughter to Instagram.

The photo's point of contention: he's bullfighting.

Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, 42, who comes from a long line of prominent Spanish bullfighters, came under fire after posting the photo Monday. It shows his baby Carmen in his arms while he waves a muleta, the red cape that hides a matador's sword, for a pass.

"Carmen’s debut. This is the fifth generation of bullfighters in our family,” he wrote in the caption. "My grandfather used to bullfight with me and my father like this. My father also used to bullfight like this with me, and I have done it with my daughter Cayetana and now Carmen."

The photo has incited both a social media outcry and an investigation over Carmen's safety.

Authorities for an office representing children's welfare in Andalusia, the Spanish region where Ordóñez lives, investigated the reports and will forward its findings to the juvenile prosecutor for "appropriate action."

In a statement, the office said the photo depicts a "situation of unnecessary risk" and that the office hopes "such behavior is not repeated."

In a tweet Monday, Rivera responded to the controversy, saying his daughter "is never going to be safer than she is in my arms."

Rivera has not competed since August after he was gored in the stomach during a bullfight. His father, Francisco Rivera Pérez (known as "Paquirri"), was considered a legend. He died in a bullfight in 1984 when he was 36 years old.

On social media, there has been both criticism of Rivera's photo and support from the bullfighting community.

Among the many deriding Rivera's photo was comedian Ricky Gervais, who said the decision was "dangerous and cruel. With or without the baby."

Members within the bullfighting community have come out in support of Rivera, sharing photos of themselves bullfighting with their children.

It's not the first time Rivera has been the subject of controversy. In 2009, he was the recipient of Spain's prestigious bullfighting award, the Fine Arts medal, but many within the sport criticized the selection, saying that Rivera did not deserve it. One bullfighter, José Tomás, even returned his own Fine Arts prize in protest.