PETA Puts Browns on Blast After Mascot's Death

PETA implores the Cleveland Browns to change their live mascot practices after Swagger Jr's death.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns organization recently suffered a heartbreaking loss when the beloved team mascot Swagger Jr. unexpectedly passed away before his sixth birthday. As the Browns community mourns, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) condemned the organization for the tradition of having a live mascot.

PETA's executive vice president Tracy Reiman spoke to TMZ Sports, calling the practice "harmful to animals" and urging the Browns to go a different route with their mascots.

"Generations of breeding for a certain look have left bullmastiffs prone to hip dysplasia, cancer, and life-threatening heart issues, among other painful conditions. [Swagger Jr's death] should be seen as a damning indictment of an industry that deliberately churns out these doomed breathing-impaired breeds.""

PETA VP Tracy Reiman

Reiman suggested Cleveland "adopt a logo featuring a brown mixed-breed dog from an undoubtedly overwhelmed local animal shelter."

How the Browns will continue with regard to this tradition is currently unknown. Swagger Jr. reportedly has offspring that can take over the sideline duties as his father did the same between 2014 and 2019.

Swagger Jr. was a fan favorite in the Dawg Pound and watching him chew up a Terrible Towel has long been a tradition in the Cleveland Browns stadium. He will surely be missed regardless of what awaits the mascot tradition in Cleveland.

Once again, rest in peace SJ.

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