Sport Miami Marlins apologise after blaming Tampa Bay Rays for Steve Irwin’s death

Miami Marlins apologise after blaming Tampa Bay Rays for Steve Irwin’s death

Australian conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin died in 2006 from a stingray's barb. Photo: Getty
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Sports fans in stadiums across the globe may sometimes flippantly scream things they instantly regret.

But the backlash has been far greater for one American baseball team after it made a far more public barb, making light of the death of a much-celebrated Australian.

Miami Marlins were forced into a grovelling apology after their social media team blamed cross-state rivals Tampa Bay Rays for the death of celebrity conservationist Steve Irwin.

It all kicked off following a recent series of games between the pair, which the Tampa Bay side won in a clean sweep.

After some light-hearted jabs back and forth, the Rays made light of their fellow Floridian’s plight, prompting the Marlins to escalate the Twitter war.

Somehow, making reference to the Australian television icon’s untimely death was deemed appropriate.

Irwin died after a stingray’s barb penetrated his heart while filming a documentary series on the Great Barrier Reef in 2006.

The 44-year-old ‘Crocodile Hunter’ gathered a cult following for his passion while showcasing his undying love for the animal kingdom.

The tweet, which remains live more than 12 hours after it was posted, has drawn fierce criticism from baseball fans.

However, the Marlins issued a statement suggesting they would be handling complaints about their ‘otherwise creative social media team’ internally.

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

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