GAINESVILLE, FL - Were Florida football players mocking the death of LSU mascot Mike the Tiger this weekend?
Some of the players were seen playing with what appeared to be a cat skeleton wearing purple and gold beads on the sidelines of Saturday's game against Missouri, and the photos started making the rounds on Twitter.
Many people were not happy with the Gators, with one poster describing the photo like this, "Florida players mocking the death of LSU's mascot with a cat skeleton wearing purple and gold Mardi Gras bead" and another saying "I hope LSU dominated Florida on 11/19." Another wrote "no class or respect. Talking trash is one thing, but this is classless BS.
Florida players mocking the death of LSU's mascot with a cat skeleton wearing purple & gold Mardi Gras beads pic.twitter.com/QwZJPZHzlR— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) October 16, 2016
Mike the Tiger, LSU's beloved live tiger mascot who lived a life of luxury on campus, died last week after a four-month battle with cancer.
The university is denying the reports, claiming that the tiger skeleton is a novelty item called The Halloween cat and that it was thrown onto the field by a fan. They tweeted "It has no significance within our program."
The Halloween cat seen on the field after last nights game was thrown onto the field by a fan. It has no significance within our program.— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) October 16, 2016
Still, the players seemed to enjoy playing with the skeleton.
The bad blood between SEC rivals Florida and LSU heated up recently when the game had to be postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. It took the SEC stepping in and threatening that neither team would be eligible for the SEC championship if they didn't come to an agreement and play the game.
The schools eventually gave up non-conference opponents to play on November 19, but moved the game from Gainesville to Baton Rouge.
(© 2016 WBIR)