An editorial from 10 News Sports Reporter Bobby Lewis...
Perhaps you've seen the picture by now: It's our lovable Tampa Bay Rays mascot, Raymond, holding up a sign that has generated some serious buzz.
Raymond grabbed a fan's handmade sign and held it up to the crowd. The sign reads:
RAYS TO DO LIST
1. Steve Irwin
2. World Series
Did he (I assume Raymond is a he) know what was on the sign? Maybe. Maybe not.
Either way, I don't think this is a big deal.
Steve Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, died a few years ago after a stingray barb got lodged in his heart while he was diving. It's unfortunate that he died. Is it unfortunate that he ended up on a sign at a baseball game years later? Perhaps.
Is it a little insensitive? I don't think so. I'm not sure that the fan that made the sign at home was trying to poke fun at Irwin's family. That fan probably just thought it was funny. I don't think the sign was comical, but I also didn't find it offensive.
The Rays organization came out and apologized for Raymond's actions, but did they have to? Is it that big of a deal? Of all the problems going on in the world, isn't a mascot holding up a poster board at a ballgame really taking up too much of our time?
We don't even know if the person inside the Raymond costume even knew what was written on the sign. Even if he did, who is this hurting?
I didn't laugh at the photo, but I didn't shriek in horror either. It was just a case of a mascot doing something that probably wasn't the wisest choice in the world.