The general manager for the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs, Dave Echols, apologized Tuesday for the team's jabs at Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow as part of its game presentation last week.
According to Derrek Asberry of the Post Courier, Echols expressed regret for potentially offending anyone with the jokes: "While we believe that our promotions were poking fun at Mr. Tebow's celebrity status rather than his religion or baseball career, our intent was not to offend anyone, and for the fact that we did offend, we are sorry."
The RiverDogs made light of Tebow in several ways, including having their mascot, Charlie T. RiverDog, wear eyeblack with "John 3:16" written on it like Tebow did during his football days:
Per Asberry, the RiverDogs also played the "Hallelujah Chorus" in reference to Tebow's religious beliefs.
Additionally, every Fireflies player who stepped to the plate was labeled "Not Tim Tebow" on the scoreboard, and there was a photo of Tebow crying while playing for the Florida Gators in the background.
Although Echols said the pranks were meant to be good-natured, he conceded that the RiverDogs may have gone too far in some instances, according to Asberry:
"Of the many promotional pieces that we executed, there were a handful on Friday's game that some construed as in poor taste, and we made it a focus to remove those elements and celebrate Mr. Tebow the remainder of his time in Charleston."
The 29-year-old Tebow is in the midst of his first full season of professional baseball as part of the New York Mets organization.
He is hitting .224 with three home runs and 21 RBI for Columbia.
The former Heisman Trophy winner previously enjoyed a brief NFL career with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets.