Miami Marlins Apologize For Using Steve Irwin's Death To Taunt Tampa Bay Rays

The MLB team said it was sorry for the “regrettable exchange."

The Miami Marlins baseball team has apologized after its social media team attempted to taunt the Tampa Bay Rays with a tweet about the late Australian wildlife expert and broadcaster Steve Irwin.

Twitter trash-talking between the rival Florida-based MLB teams took an insensitive turn on Sunday, after the Rays beat the Marlins twice in a weekend double-header. The Marlins called the Rays “literally the animal that killed Steve Irwin.” 

Irwin, known as “The Crocodile Hunter,” died in September 2006 after a stingray’s barb punctured his heart while he was filming a documentary.

The Marlins’ tweet split opinion online, and former team president David Samson called for the person responsible to be fired:

In a statement released Monday, a spokesperson for the Marlins said it was “a regrettable exchange by our otherwise creative social media team.”

“Unfortunately, in this medium, sometimes we swing and miss, and this was definitely a miss,” the statement said.

An apology was also issued on the team’s Twitter feed: