Ohio State University mascot won’t march in Pride parade

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University’s mascot has been pulled out of an upcoming Ohio parade and festival celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

The university spirit team coaches cited safety concerns after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida that left 49 dead as the reason for pulling Brutus Buckeye from this weekend’s Pride festival in Columbus.

The president of the Columbus Ohio Gay Lesbian Ally Hockey Association says the group had offered additional security for the mascot, but understands the school’s decision.

A university statement says the decision to withdraw Brutus over expressed safety concerns was difficult.

University spokesman Ben Johnson says the school’s president and other officials, students and staff still plan to participate.

Columbus police have said security will be increased for this weekend’s events.

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