Joe Burrow on 'Tiger King,' LSU Mascot Mike the Tiger: 'I'm Anti-Animal in Cage'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

Mike VI, LSU's tiger mascot, rests in his habitat before an NCAA college football game Between LSU and Florida, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Baton Rouge, La. Mike won't make any more appearances in Tiger Stadium this football season, the university announced Saturday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow said Friday he wasn't a fan of the school's live mascot, a tiger named Mike VII, because he's against keeping animals in captivity. 

Burrow, the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, appeared on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast (via TMZ Sports) and was asked about the smash-hit Netflix documentary Tiger King.

"Actually, I haven't watched it yet," he said. "I'm anti-animal in cage. So I'm not gonna watch it, I don't think."

The topic then shifted to the Tigers' famed mascot.

"Mike the Tiger is not my favorite part of campus," Burrow said on Pardon My Take.

The Tiger Athletic Foundation website run by LSU provides details about Mike VII, who was adopted as part of a donation from the Wild at Heart Wildlife Center rescue facility in Florida. It's noted the school hasn't purchased a Tiger since 1958 and "does not support the for-profit breeding of tigers:"

"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 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."

Tiger King features two owners of private zoos, Joe Exotic and Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, and their rivalry with activist Carole Baskin, who runs an animal sanctuary in Florida and has advocated for the end of for-profit breeding of tigers and in-person petting sessions between humans and young big cats.

The Bengals, Burrow's new team, don't feature a live mascot.