PETA sends Browns stern message asking to end use of live mascots

PETA doesn't believe the Cleveland Browns should use live mascots and sent a strong message following the loss of Swagger, Jr.
Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns lost their beloved mascot, announcing on Tuesday that Swagger, Jr. passed away at six years of age.

Swagger, Jr. took over in 2019 after the original Swagger retired. He too passed away at just six years of age in February of 2020. An AKC pure-bred bull mastiff, SJ was owned by Fred and Deby McLaughlin and would run out of the tunnel ahead of games as players were introduced.

During the games, he could be seen hanging out on the sidelines, as well as meeting with fans. He attended many team events as well, bringing joy to those who got the opportunity to snap a photo. Despite the love and care he was shown, the activists at PETA are less than thrilled with the Browns' decision to use a live mascot. They released a statement asking the team to use a logo instead of a live animal while saying the way Swagger, Jr. was bred led to his short life.

“Generations of breeding for a certain look have left bullmastiffs prone to hip dysplasia, cancer, and life-threatening heart issues, among other painful conditions, and Swagger Jr.’s death at the young age of 5 should be seen as a damning indictment of an industry that deliberately churns out these doomed breathing-impaired breeds.”

For what it's worth, the average life span for a bull mastiff is roughly eight-to-10 years.

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There was no comment from the Browns, instead, they continued to share their love and appreciation for Swagger, Jr. No plans have been made public about their next mascot.

PETA has never been shy about going after colleges and other sports franchises for their use of live mascots either — the Georgia Bulldogs have drawn their ire frequently throughout the years. The only other teams that use a live mascot are the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks.

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