Fur is flying on social media and police are investigating after the Victoria Royals’ popular mascot, Marty the Marmot, was body slammed onto the ice by a fan during second intermission at Saturday’s home game against the Red Deer Rebels.
The Royals went on to beat the Rebels 3-1, but the attack left outraged fans buzzing on social media.
The incident happened during a game of musical chairs. As fans competed in the contest, Marty was running around playing interference when a male contestant was eliminated, according to Island Sports News.
The man ran toward Marty, lifted him up and body slammed him onto the ice. He then dragged the mascot along the ice, according to witnesses.
“Poor Marty the Marmot was slammed pretty badly onto his back. I think people think those mascot outfits are full of stuffing; they are definitely not!,” said Malia Benmore, who witnessed the attack.
Angry onlookers booed the man as he exited the rink.
Victoria police said they are investigating the incident, but it is not known whether the man will be charged.
The tackle caused an uproar on social media, with hundreds of Marty’s fans expressing their support for the beloved marmot.
Marty tweeted on Sunday thanking his fans for all the support.
Thanks for the love this morning! Feeling good, enjoying a quiet day in the burrow. Getting ready to rock vs. EDM on WED!!! SEE YOU THERE!!!
— Marty TheMarmot (@Marty_Marmot) November 3, 2013
The Royals also issued a statement on their Facebook page Sunday to update fans on the mascot’s condition.
“We’re pleased to report that Marty the Marmot is doing just fine, and is looking forward to being back in action Wednesday vs Edmonton,” the statement said.
Royals fans are speaking out asking that the attacker, at the very least, be banned from attending future hockey games.
I want to wish Marty the Marmot, Victoria’s mascot, all the best after being attacked by a fan on Saturday… absolutely uncalled far. #WHL
— Dickson Liong (@DLLiong) November 4, 2013