Brutus Buckeye to march in Pride Parade after all

Erica Thompson

After pulling out of the Columbus Pride Parade amid safety concerns following the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, Brutus Buckeye has re-confirmed his appearance. It will be the first time the OSU mascot has ever marched.

Brutus was originally scheduled to march with the Columbus Ohio Gay and Lesbian Hockey Association (COGLAHA). "It's a huge deal," COGLAHA Vice President Don Zender originally told Alive when interviewed for a feature in this week's issue. "He's the first mascot in the NCAA and the Big Ten that has ever been in a Pride Parade."

But according to a statement posted Wednesday on the COGLAHA Facebook page, the Ohio State Buckeyes coaching staff decided to remove Brutus in the wake of the recent tragedy.

"We wish to make it clear that by all indications this is not due to homophobia or any way to be exclusionary," COGLAHA stated in another Facebook post. "The Ohio State University has been a leading partner in supporting us throughout the year, especially during our Pride Nights with Ohio State Men's Hockey."

However, according to a Thursday afternoon report by the Columbus Dispatch, the university decided to allow Brutus' return "after additional consideration and reviews."

"Brutus will join a campus-wide group of faculty, staff and senior officials led by President Michael Drake and Athletics Director Gene Smith," the university stated.

COGLAHA addressed the university's decision in a Thursday afternoon Facebook post.

"We have had no confirmation and have not been reached out to by tOSU," the organization said. "While we are disappointed in Brutus not celebrating with us, we are happy that he will make a historic appearance in the parade this year."

Brutus will join Stinger of the Columbus Blue Jackets, fellow first-timer S.C. of the Columbus Crew SC, Krash and Lou Seal of the Columbus Clippers and Rufus of Ohio University, whose appearance was announced Thursday afternoon.