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'Tiger King' Joe Exotic begs NFL's best-paid player Joe Burrow to get him out of jail

By Andrew Gamble, Sports Trends Writer, 16:09, 15 Sep 2023



Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow has been urged to help Joe Exotic secure his release from prison in a remarkable letter written by the ‘Tiger King’ himself.

The story of Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, went mainstream and surged in popularity when the Netflix documentary series ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness’ was released in March 2020. Exotic is currently serving 21 years in a federal prison having been convicted of trying to have his 'rival' Carole Baskin killed.


However, the 60-year-old is hoping to have his freedom back soon. The former zookeeper penned a letter to Burrow in the hopes the Bengals quarterback - who became the highest-paid player in NFL history last week - can help him get out of incarceration.


Last week, Burrow became the NFL’s highest-paid player as he inked a five-year contract extension worth $275 million with $219.01 million guaranteed. In his letter to the quarterback, Exotic appears to think the NFL star should help him out as he and Burrow share the ‘Tiger King’ nickname.


“I see the news, magazines as well as yourself calling you the Tiger King,” Exotic wrote in the letter. “Everyone in the world is exploiting me and and my trademarks while I sit innocent in an American Federal Prison. I have been the Tiger King before you got out of high school. Tiger King is my trademark and intellectual property. 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 hard work.”


Exotic then continues his inexplicable letter by insisting he's been wrongfully imprisoned and that he would like Burrow to help him raise thousands in order to pay his attorneys. He added: “Since everyone is enjoying the fame of being the Tiger King I'm suffering wrongfully in prison in a cage. How about doing a good deed and helping me raise $20,000 for a down payment to hire attorneys?”


Exotic also sensationally suggested that if Burrow does help him, karma may come in the form of success for the Bengals going forwards. He concluded his letter by saying: “Maybe paying it forward, God might help you get to the Super Bowl this year.”


It is unlikely that Burrow is going to bow to Exotic’s demands, nor even address it. Back in November, the 26-year-old said of his ‘Tiger King’ nickname: “I don't like that one that much. I don't like that show. I have not seen the show, because I don't like seeing animals in cages, I don't really like that. So I didn't see the show, so I don't like that nickname.” Burrow’s 0-1 Bengals face the 1-0 Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North showdown on Sunday.


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