A MAJOR league baseball club has officially apologised after its mascot was snapped with a sign mocking Sunshine Coast Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's death.
Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays mascot, was photographed holding up a sign of the "Rays To Do List" with Steve Irwin crossed out as No. 1 and No. 2 being the World Series.
Steve Irwin was tragically killed by a stingray in 2006, sparking a worldwide outpouring of grief.
New York Post blog site Deadspin said it had heard from the person who brought the sign into Tropicana Field for Wednesday night's triumph over the Orioles.
"There were a couple empty seats in front of me so Raymond sat down.
"I handed him the sign and he read it, obviously thought it was funny because he stood up on the chairs and held it up for literally three seconds, obviously realising what he was doing or when he saw the reaction from some of the fans, and got down and tried to hand it back.
"That's when I started snappin off photos," the opportunistic fan wrote to the blog.
The Rays have released a statement about Raymond's mistake, which has now made headlines across US sports sites.
"Last night Rays mascot Raymond was handed an inappropriate sign brought to the game by a fan," it read.
"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 apologise for the lapse in judgment."
WHAT YOU ARE SAYING ON FACEBOOK
Shane T Reynolds: Dont find that funny at ALL!!!!!
Peter Mcdonald: hilarious steve would have pissed himself
Mel Brierley: that's FAR from funny!!
Sarah Kantor: Not funny at all!!!
Thievin Reegan: Stop taking yourselves so seriously. Steve didnt.
Jon Albiez: It's satire. What one person finds offensive another finds amusing. 10 years ago my macabre sense of humour was well accepted, these days you can't say a thing without SOMEONE being offended. Just stop for a minute - would Steve have got a chuckle out of this?
Mathew Purser: I actually laughed at that... People need to lighten up
Terri Carr: It's not so much a case of Steve getting a chuckle out of it. It's actually about how hurtful this is for his family!!!
Shane T Reynolds: The question is: Would His Kids & Terri find this funny??? I would think NOT!!! Tasteless IMO!!
Karri Moss: Embarrassing and disgusting!
Lisa M Venning: Noway, thats cruel. Think of his kids and wife. Wouldnt like someone to say that about my loved one. Would Steve have liked it if it was his loved one? I dont think so.
Dean Camilleri: not funny at all...... its stupid actually and shows the shallowness of some idiots.
Shane Lee Jamieson: As if the rays could even make the cut to get to the world series I hate America
Carolyn Mossetter: lighten up yeah like to see how people would react if it was there love one being made fun of sorry but I don't find it funny at all . quite sick I think
Kate Emma Sarkar: It's not even funny. I've heard funny Steve Irwin jokes. I don't like them, but I see how people can laugh. But this is not even funny.
Gaye Napier: I actually don't think it matters if Steve would have laughed at this...what matters is that he has a wife and two children still here...so, not funny at all!!
Rodney Zarate: On behalf of my fellow Americans, I would like to apologise to the family of Steve Irwin and to Australians in general for the moron who made this sign and thought it would be funny to show off. We do have a lot of stupid people here in my country.