The Jacksonville Jaguars apologized for their mascot using the Ebola epidemic to mock the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towels during Sunday’s game.
The person playing Jaxson de Ville carried a Steelers’ Terrible Towel in one had while holding up a sign with the words “Towels Carry Ebola” in an attempt to poke fun at Pittsburgh fans.
Jaguars president Mark Lamping said Monday the team had no prior knowledge of the sign and is handling the matter internally.
“Improvisation and humor have both been key elements to the character of Jaxson de Ville, especially when he performs at home games,” Lamping said in a statement. “On Sunday, the person who has played Jaxson de Ville 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.”
Curtis Dvorak has been playing de Ville since the mascot’s inception. The picture of the mascot holding the sign drew the ire of many on social media Sunday night.
Ebola has stricken upward of 4,000 victims, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has made worldwide headlines with a patient in Texas who brought the disease over from Liberia. On Monday, an American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia arrived at a Nebraska hospital where he will be treated for the deadly disease.