JACKSONVILLE (CBS Tampa) — Jacksonville Jaguars mascot Jaxson DeVille is facing criticism over a tasteless Ebola joke during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The mascot was on a Segway with a Steelers “Terrible Towel” while carrying a sign “Towels Carry Ebola.”
ESPN reports that Curtis Dvorak, who has been the mascot for the past 18 seasons, was in the costume at the time.
The organization apologized for the incident in a statement Monday.
“Improvisation and humor have both been key elements to the character of Jaxson DeVille, especially when he performs at home games,” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said in a statement to WJAX-TV. “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.”
Dvorak’s actions were ripped by some on Twitter.[tweet https://twitter.com/marcbowers7/status/518958906060845056 width=’330′] [tweet https://twitter.com/sportingnews/status/518895182880583680 width=’330′]
More than 3,400 people in West Africa have died from Ebola.