Last Thursday, the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Flames caused a stir after a skit unveiling their new mascot appeared to show the fire-based character overpowering a firefighter.
Now, less than a week later, the team decided to retire the mascot.
In an interview with The Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., the city in which the team is based, Flames president Brian Petrovek confirmed that the organization is moving away from the character after its controversial unveiling.
“We’re extinguishing Scorch,’’ Petrovek told The Post-Star. “The misjudgment we made was such that we came to that decision.’’
After moving from Abbottsford, British Columbia to Glens Falls this offseason, the newly-minted Flames decided to create a new mascot for the team’s new city.
Nicknamed “Scorch,’’ the mascot was shaped like a ball of fire with a hockey puck for a head. According to the character’s back story, Scorch was ignited from the last remaining ember from the Great Fire of 1864 that nearly destroyed the entire city of Glens Falls.
In the skit that introduced Scorch to the public, it shows the mascot battling with a firefighter, later showing Scorch dancing around as the firefighter lay motionless on the ground.
The skit immediately unleashed backlash across social media, with many questioning the judgment of the team in appearing to show a firefighter succumb to a fire.
The team issued a statement following the release, apologizing for their “thoughtlessness’’ in the final product. Scorch did not appear at the Flames home opener on Oct. 11 against the Albany Devils before it was reported on Tuesday that the team will no longer use Scorch as their mascot.
No replacement mascot has been announced by the team.