The image below comes to us via Jimmy Traina of SI.com. My first reaction is to hope that this is just a cruel photoshop. But sadly, it appears to be legit. If you are not familiar, Steve Irwin (AKA The Crocodile Hunter) was killed by a sting ray in 2006.

Wow, just wow.

And why is Raymond bringing attention to it? The photo obviously doesn’t show the context in which Raymond came to be holding the sign. So let’s hope it was done to shame the person and not done for a laugh.

[UPDATE] The Rays have issued an apology:

“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 Tampa Bay Rays regret that this particular sign was displayed in the ballpark, and we apologize for the lapse in judgment.”

Also, Deadspin.com has comments from somebody claiming to be the person that brought in the sign. That fan provided more pictures as evidence. It sounds like Raymond was actively involved in promoting the sign to other fans…

irwin

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15 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    It's funny. I like it. I support this sign. This is a good sign.

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  2. Dave L says:

    Its black humor, not for everyone I get it.

    Never saw the two associated before so its fresh to me and funny. I chuckled once I got it, it took a second because its old news.

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  3. Don says:

    The guy was killed doing what he loved...Maybe the Fan of the Rays also wanted to meet or honor Irwin...Well its too late, so maybe the Rays WS #2..
    Whats your List.. Babe Ruth then the Rays? Well thats ok...

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  4. Cork Gaines says:

    To clarify my own personal opinion...

    To me, the joke is tasteless. But tasteless jokes are not always bad. But, there is a time and a place for tasteless jokes, and I don't think a baseball game is the time or place.

    I loved Richard Pryor and nobody told more tasteless jokes than Pryor. But Pryor wasnt for everybody. And I wouldn't want somebody like Pryor performing at a baseball game in front of children.

    You may feel differently, and that's cool. But I just wanted to clarify why I thought the sign was in poor taste.

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  5. Greg says:

    Irwin routinely harassed wildlife and sold himself as some kind of conservationist. No one could have honestly been surprised that he died the way he did. He earned these sort of jokes, but I don't find it in particularly good taste either and it's always sad to leave a young family behind.

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  6. Morgan says:

    Tasteless. Imagine the guy sitting at home making a sign about a human being being killed. Not funny whatsoever. But here in Tampa/STP, we have some odd/unusual folks who support both the Rays and the Bucs. It's a part of living here....unfortunately.

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  7. Gus says:

    I think Irwin himself would find it pretty funny, and he'd love the touch tank. I think it was pretty darn funny, and the stautue of limitations has pretty much run -- the guy has been dead for 7-8 years now. Most kids don't even know who he is, so I'm not worried too much about time, place and manner concerns here for the little ones. Solidly executed joke.

    More than anything, I'm glad to see Rays fans caring enough to cause some news and focusing on winning the world series, which might cause the Rays to re-think their blase approach to March and April.

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    • Andy says:

      "Statue of limitations" on what? Grief? You've GOT to be kidding!!! Anyone who's lost a parent or child (Irwin's Dad is still alive) knows there is no such thing!!! Crass is crass, & Cork is right - not for involuntary public consumption!!!

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  8. Mavsmoney says:

    Y'all are a bunch of stiffs! Do you know how many 9/11 jokes have been made and laughed at? This doesn't even compare! Have you never watched an episode of family guy?

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  9. Miguel Grande says:

    Steve Irwin made a good living harassing wildlife, he got exactly what he deserved. I love wildlife and take world class photographs of them. I would never grab a wild animal and wrestle with it for the cameras benefit.

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