The Adirondack Flames unveiled its new mascot Thursday. And as the saying goes, if you play with fire, you're gonna get burned.
Brian Petrovek, president of the American Hockey League's Calgary Flames' minor-league affiliate, apologized just hours after the team revealed Scorch, a mascot comprised of an anthropomorphic puck surrounded by fire.
Scorch. Has. ARRIVED! pic.twitter.com/WhupSXhidv— Adirondack Flames (@AHLFlames) October 9, 2014
See, the mascot has a rather macabre story, as recounted by The Post Star's Diana Nearhos.
He is the last surviving flame from a fire that decimated the city of Glens Falls, N.Y. in 1864. Originally an ember at a blacksmith shop, Scorch took out a firefighter in a demonstration of his strength, as illustrated in a tweet from Nearhos:
In telling of his story, Scorch overpowered a firefighter. That happened. pic.twitter.com/ZIpW7Qmw5l— Diana C. Nearhos (@dianacnearhos) October 9, 2014
After Scorch was introduced to the public, he and his back-story quickly drew ire online:
Trying to find words for the @AHLFlames' callous idiocy but can't. Disrespectful scum. Can't fathom the moron(s) who thought that was funny.— Kyle Brennan (@kylebrennan1) October 9, 2014
— Oldschoolgoalie (@oldschoolgoalie) October 9, 2014
Which eventually led Petrovek and the team to issue a statement of apology, saying in part:
"On behalf of our entire organization we want to apologize for our thoughtlessness today. We have obviously turned something good, the launch of a mascot which we will use to entertain and encourage young fans, into something that is in poor taste."
"While it seemed in good taste when it was on the drawing board, it is evident now that it was in poor taste," Petrovek said.
He added that the Flames "take seriously the dangers associated with fire, understand its potentially devastating effects and acknowledge that those in our nation who are called upon to face and fight fires on a daily basis are truly heroes."
The team had earlier responded to criticism by joking about the mascot on Twitter:
A disclaimer that the firefighter was not injured during our mascot unveiling.— Adirondack Flames (@AHLFlames) October 9, 2014
The tweets have since been removed.
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