Former LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow was drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2020 NFL Draft. He went from one team with a tiger mascot to another, but he is not a fan of actual tigers being used as mascots. Instead, he prefers that animals aren't kept in captivity.
Speaking on the Pardon My Take podcast, Burrow was asked about Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The hosts wanted to know if he has checked out the wildly-popular Netflix series. Joe Exotic's tale has taken over households around the world due to its constant twists and turns. However, the former LSU star revealed that he actually hasn't watched the show, and he has no plans on doing so.
"Actually, I haven't watched it yet," Burrow said. "I'm anti-animal in cage. So I'm not gonna watch it, I don't think." He then responded to questions about Mike the Tiger, LSU's live mascot. "Mike the Tiger is not my favorite part of campus," he said.
According to the Tiger Athletic Foundation website run by LSU, Mike VII was donated to the university. LSU hasn't purchased a tiger since 1958 and does not "support the for-profit breeding of tigers." Mike VII was actually donated by the Wild at Heart Wildlife Rescue Center facility in Florida. Mikes IV, V and VI were all donated by rescue facilities.
"By providing a home for a tiger that needs one, LSU hopes to raise awareness about the problem of irresponsible breeding and the plight of tigers kept illegally and/or inappropriately in captivity in the U.S." the website states. "The tiger habitat and LSU's animal care plan are licensed by the USDA. The facility, tiger and animal care programs are inspected annually to ensure that they comply with the Federal Animal Welfare Act and other USDA policies and guidelines."
Burrow is not a fan of animals in captivity, and he will not have to worry about any live tiger mascots during his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ohio-based franchise only incorporates a person in a tiger costume, who is known as Who Dey. Although the Bengals did release an April Fools photoshop featuring Joe Exotic with the head of their mascot. The mascot wears a No. 1 Bengals jersey and celebrates on the field throughout the game. Who Dey can't speak but chooses to communicate through pantomimes and poses. He also rides around the stadium on a scooter.