Former television star Steve Irwin, who was better known to many as “The Crocodile Hunter,” died back in 2006 when he was stung in the chest by a stingray. It has been over six years since his death and Irwin knew the risks associated with working alongside dangerous animals for a living, but does that make it okay to mock his death?
A Tampa Bay Rays fan at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night apparently felt there is nothing wrong with that, and it appears the home team’s mascot agreed. As you can see from the photo above that Twitter user @asianmegan posted on Thursday morning, a fan created a sign that made light of Irwin’s death. Deadspin reportedly spoke with the fan who made the sign.
“There were a couple empty seats in front of me so Raymond sat down,” the sign’s creator told Deadspin. “I handed him the sign and he read it, obviously thought it was funny because he stood up on the chairs and held it up for literally 3 seconds, obviously realizing what he was doing or when he saw the reaction from some of the fans, and got down and tried to hand it back. That’s when I started snappin off photos.”
After the photo went viral, the Rays released a statement apologizing for Raymond’s involvement.
“Last night Rays mascot Raymond was handed an inappropriate sign brought to the game by a fan. Fans are welcome to bring signs into Tropicana Field provided they are not offensive,” the team said. “The Tampa Bay Rays regret that this particular sign was displayed in the ballpark, and we apologize for the lapse in judgment.”
Cruel fans are impossible to avoid, but the team shouldn’t be fueling the fire. I’m sure whoever was dressed in the Raymond suit on Wednesday night is well aware of that now — assuming they were able to keep their job.Google+