Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow became a legend at LSU before he started playing for the NFL. Now, some have started calling him the “Tiger King”, and another person who goes by that name isn’t pleased.
“I see in the news, magazines, as well as yourself calling you the Tiger King,” said Joe Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic. “Everyone in the world is exploiting me and my trademarks while I sit innocent in American Federal Prison. I have been the Tiger King before you got to high school.
Maldonado-Passage, 60, was the subject of the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” and formerly the operator of an exotic animal park where he kept tigers. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act in 2020.
That year, Burrow was the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL.
“Burrow has re-written the Bengals’ record books over the past two seasons and led Cincinnati to back-to-back AFC North Division titles as well as consecutive appearances in the AFC Championship,” according to his team bio.
According to Maldonado-Passage’s letter (in which he misspells Burrow’s name as “Burrows”), his past few years have not been as successful.
“My life has been destroyed, my parents have died and I continue to fight cancer and [two] incurable diseases while you all ride fame and attention off my life’s work,” it said. He also asked for help to raise $20,000 to hire attorneys and hinted that “God might help you get the Super Bowl this year,” and that they could work together to keep animals out of cages.
In the past, Maldonado-Passage has also reached out to former President Donald Trump for help, but he didn’t make the current GOP frontrunner’s pardon list back when he was in office. Following reports of Trump’s own legal troubles this year, Maldonado-Passage said he would save him a “bunk and a bed roll.”
As for Burrow, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that he hasn’t responded to Joe Exotic’s request for help. He said in an interview last year with Lordstown Motors that he hasn’t watched “Tiger King” because he doesn’t like “seeing animals in cages,” and he further said “I don’t like that nickname.”