Jacksonville Jaguars Mascot Catches Flack for Ebola Sign

Jacksonville Jaguars Mascot Catches Flack for Ebola Sign

Jaxson's attempt at a joke backfires.

Published October 6, 2014

At 0-5, the winless Jacksonville Jaguars are bad enough. The last thing the struggling organization needs is some bad PR to match its underwhelming play.

But that's exactly what the Jaguars got on Sunday, when their mascot, Jaxson, was seen at EverBank Field on Sunday holding a sign that read, "Towels Carry Ebola." The sign was in reference to Jacksonville's opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are known for their "Terrible Towel," but the joke attempt backfired into an instant firestorm of upset fans. The backlash triggered Jags president Mark Lamping to issue the following statement to USA Today.

“Improvisation and humor have both been key elements to the character of Jaxson DeVille, especially when he performs at home games,” Lamping said. “On Sunday, the person who has played Jaxson DeVille over the past 20 seasons made an extremely poor decision in that regard. The team was unaware of this inappropriate sign, which was hand-made by Jaxson during the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game, until after it had been displayed. We are handling the matter internally and taking it very seriously. We extend our sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended.”

According to a separate report, Curtis Dvorak has played the Jags' mascot for the past 18 seasons and used the unscripted, handwritten sign as an attempt to poke fun at the Steelers and their trademark towel, which he held in his other hand.

The World Health Organization reports that there have been 3,431 deaths in the African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to Ebola with 7,470 more probable, confirmed and suspected cases. There's even one confirmed case of Ebola, the highly infectious viral disease spread by contact with bodily fluids, in the United States, in Dallas.

 

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(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

Written by BET-Staff

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