Jaguars apologize for mascot’s Ebola joke

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The Jaguars hosted the Steelers on Sunday afternoon, which meant that a lot of Steelers fans brought their Terrible Towels with them to EverBank Field.

Jaguars mascot Jaxson DeVille responded by making a sign informing those in attendance that “towels carry Ebola.” The joke equating the towels with the spread of a disease that has claimed thousands of lives was unsurprisingly met with a negative reaction that prompted Jaguars president Mark Lamping to issue an apology on Monday morning.

“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.”

It’s the second time in a matter of days that a joke about Ebola has found its way into these pages. Neither was particularly funny — or particularly offensive, for that matter — so it’s probably best to keep humor to non-disease related topics for the near future.

60 responses to “Jaguars apologize for mascot’s Ebola joke

  1. Well since the Jaguars aren’t very entertaining the guy is getting desperate.
    He’s become the equivalent of a morning shock dj show but without the silly sound effects.

  2. People are being too thin-skinned about this. The joke was less about Ebola and more about those stupid towels the Steelers fans drag around the country…

  3. “Regretfully we had to put Jaxson down shortly after the game. But 30 years is a normal life span for members of his species, and we didn’t want him to suffer…..”.

  4. This was actually pretty funny. It’s a shame that everyone in this country has to be offended by everything. Lighten folks and get a sense of humor.

  5. It’s a sad state of affairs for your football team when the entertainment or non-football matters (tarps) trumps the product on the field.

  6. It certainly wasn’t funny, but who was really offended by that? The vast majority of people who would be offended live on a different continent and have a ton of other problems to deal with (even if they had a TV and service to watch a….Jacksonville game).

  7. People are being too thin-skinned about this. The joke was less about Ebola and more about those stupid towels the Steelers fans drag around the country…

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of those “stupid towels” goes directly to charity.

  8. Wow we are getting way too soft!
    Would people be mad if he wrote, “towels carry Gluten.” Anything Ebola and Gluten related is funny. Don’t you people watch South Park?

  9. There is a man fighting for his life right now in Dallas, who’s taken a turn for the worse and anther case has turned up in the Mid West. Might want to give it a rest until we’re sure we’re past an outbreak.

  10. Interesting that people are so up in arms at this stupid joke, about a virus that has killed no one in the U.S. so far this year, and has only been reported to have infected 1 person so far in the U.S.

    But we routinely accept when these same outraged people call someone a “cancer” in the lockerroom. As if relating someone who makes your workplace slightly unpleasant to a disease that does in fact kill millions of people each and every year, is perfectly acceptable.

  11. Comedians tell us all the time when they tell a bad joke it is how to deal with tragedy. Maybe mascot should be told he is fired. LOL..Just kidding. It is a joke. G

  12. welcome to today’s PC world where you can only joke about things in private…..everyone is to damn serious out there, get a grip

  13. Seeing the Jags’ mascot in the article’s top picture makes this situation funnier. If they have a press conference, will they bring him out to the podium in costume?

  14. People are too damned sensitive nowadays. I mean seriously. Everything is PC and the moment a person tells an unfunny, non-racial joke people are calling for that person to be fired. I hope the Jaguars don’t try to make an example of the mascot.

  15. I am offended every damn time I turn around and somebody these days are offended by something somebody said. And then the poor slob is dragged out and made to do their mea culpa speech.
    my speech
    I SAY WHAT YOU ARE THINKING BUT AFRAID TO SAY.
    AMERICA GET YOUR BALLS BACK AND STOP WHINING ABOUT EVERY LITTLE UTTERANCE
    If it is in poor taste. No apology needed. Get over it and move on

  16. It seems like a lot of the time I am unaware of a controvery until I hear an apology.

  17. “Jaxson DeVille”

    Seriously? That’s the name of your mascot?

    Fully thing he was joking about the towels, since that stupid pool probably has some real diseases floating around in it.

  18. The Colts mascot wiped his rear with a Ravens hat yesterday; any posts about hoof and mouth disease? Pink eye?

  19. Remember when we could hear (or look at,in his case) a joke and either laugh or dismiss it? Now, people study them in order to find something that somebody could be offended by. That’s sad. Either appreciate the humor or simply move on. Nobody needs or wants a holier-than-thou condescending super hero to fight for them. Please find a worthy cause if you must stroke your own egos. Normal people are tired of the whining and feigned outrage

  20. I’m willing to bet that the same people saying to lighten up were eager to use “freedom fries” and “Kenyan” a few years back.

  21. The “terrible towel” is an adequate name being that they’re the dumbest prop in professional sports.

  22. The Jaguars franchise can help teach the rest of Sports Fans a very valuable lesson here:

    No matter how bad you think your team is or how bitter you are after a loss or how many years you think you can endure watching a terrible product… just be thankful you aren’t a Jaguars Fan.

    The bar just cannot go any lower. Pretty much the bottom of the barrel in professional sports.

  23. Josh, are you going to scold your parent company NBC for SNLs Ebola skit this past weekend?

    This is a non-issue that the media and the twitterverse are blowing out of proportion.

  24. enoughofthatalready says:
    Oct 6, 2014 12:25 PM
    People are being too thin-skinned about this. The joke was less about Ebola and more about those stupid towels the Steelers fans drag around the country…

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of those “stupid towels” goes directly to charity.

    Save your breath,it’s easier for people to use ignorance.

  25. What if instead of “Ebola” written on it, it said “Aids”. If Ebola was having the same effect here as it is in Africa would any of you people saying we are too thin skinned be laughing. Disease, no matter where it is, is not funny. You are just callous until it attacks a family member.

    The Jags are handling it internally, as in the form of a free paid trip to the unemployment line.

  26. Here’s funny;

    I found a Dallas Cowboys sticker. Stuck it on my broken vacuum cleaner. It still sucks.

    Giants, Redskin, Eagles fan.

  27. I still laugh at idiocy like that. It’s actually funny. In fact I’ve always laughed at jokes like that because their hilarious.

    But now you have little Tommy standing there with his paranoid parents who are litigious, easy offended tree hugging yuppies just waiting to be offended.

    Yep, nowadays you have to watch what you say, as some PC tipster is ready to turn a person into the media so the media can ruin the rest of their lives, their careers, their families, you name it there are no holds barred, if the media can destroy it they will, and they’ll do so all in the name of ‘tolerance’.

  28. Who watches 60 minutes of two sets of players beating each others heads in and then gets offended by a sign? I’m starting to think there are losers who just watch football to find things to rally against.

  29. So, how many people who are trying to drag Jaxson over the coals for this have reached out to NBC to rip them for the Saturday Night Live skit that was also making a joke out of ebola, a more elaborate one that was planned by a group of people rather than a guy just coming up with entertaining stuff to say and do on the fly?

    None of you? Oh, and PFT – part of the NBC family – didn’t comment on it? Wow, what a wonderful batch of hypocrites. Ditto for all the news sites trying to call for a mascot’s head but laughing at SNL and calling it “topical humor.” Let’s not forget all the comedians and other entertainers – you know, similar to mascots, who are entertainers – who’ve made ebola jokes and gotten none of this flak. Including Jimmy Fallon, who also works for NBC. Hmm, NBC entertainers sure seem to like joking about ebola, and I don’t see any mention of that here, or any apologies from NBC or the people making the jokes.

    It wasn’t the only thing he did on the day, either. The guy was all over the place. Ziplined in to start the game and pump up the crowd. Stripped off most of the suit to reveal a pink bodysuit for breast cancer awareness. Led the crowd in a chant of “Save the Ta-tas.” Crowdsurfed at one point. Went into the stands, took a Terrible Towel, acted like he was drying his underarms and stuff, and tossed it back to the people in the crowd (it wasn’t forcibly taken, so whoever handed it to him had to expect that). Took a cheerleader, leaned her over, and “kissed” her (well, as much as you can with that head). Chased a couple of birds who got on the field acting like an actual cat would “on the hunt.” That’s just the stuff I can remember, and most of it was spur-of-the-moment stuff. Plenty of funny stuff. He’s an entertainer, there to entertain people.

    And for the people who want to claim that was the only entertaining thing going on in the stadium that day, you clearly have no idea how the game went. The Steelers barely won in a very competitive game that was mainly lost by rookie mistakes, the kid of mistakes you expect when you have a lot of rookie starters who are learning together. It was a very good game, and much closer than should be expected with one of the teams having such a lack of experience. (That’s to say nothing of all the other good stuff, like watching football in sunny 70 degrees weather, with massive video boards that look perfect in the sunlight, a great cheerleader group, in-stadium sideline reporter and studio bits like a TV broadcast would have, the pools, the “Clevelander” which is practically a club, the Fan Cave for people who wanted to go in there… There was enough of a draw for the game that the team was selling tickets for people to *stand* and watch the game.)

  30. “The Jags are handling it internally, as in the form of a free paid trip to the unemployment line.”

    Over one joke? Yeah, highly unlikely, when the guy just got voted “Best Mascot in Sports” and is a big draw and enjoyed even by opposing teams’ fans.

    And if he gets fire for that, we all need to call for SNL’s crew to be fired, Jimmy Fallon, and several other entertainers. Say goodbye to late night shows, they will all be off the air or having to find new hosts (and it’ll be hard to find someone who isn’t unemployed at that point).

    Or are you going to employ a double-standard and be a hypocrite?

  31. wow, seems like the Jags game day production is a lot of fun. I prefer an actually winning team, but if you have to suck, doesnt seem like a bad afternoon….

  32. The same league that allows the name Redskins and allows wife beaters (until about five minutes ago) is going to apologize for this? SMH.

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