The St. Louis Cardinals made headlines this week after a photo surfaced online of the team’s mascot, Fredbird, posing with a sign that read, “Police Lives Matter.”
The photo first garnered attention after the St. Louis Police Officers Association posted it to their Facebook page the day after it was taken at last Sunday’s home game. On Tuesday, after the photo started to spread across social media, the Cardinals reached out to St. Louis Police to request that it be taken down from their page.
The photo quickly sparked outrage from those who felt it to be insensitive in the wake of the highly publicized police death of Michael Brown, as well as the protests and riots that followed.
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Cardinals vice president of communications Ron Watermon subsequently released a statement clarifying the events that led to the picture being taken.
“A man and a woman stopped Fredbird to request a quick photograph. While the man was taking the picture, the woman standing next to Fredbird asked him to hold up the sign. Fredbird was unaware of the content of the sign,” the statement read.
“On Monday, the photograph was posted to the Facebook page of St. Louis Police Officers Association with the woman cropped out of the image. When the Cardinals became aware of the photograph on Tuesday, we asked our friends at the police association to take it down, and they graciously accommodated our request."
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The Cardinals stated that their decision to request that the photo be removed was made to maintain their policy that Fredbird doesn’t become involved in political or social issues.
Photo Credit: theblaze.com