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Joe Exotic blasts Jordan Travis amid 'Tiger King' T-shirt sales

Felon-turned-Netflix star seeks to sue Florida State QB from West Palm Beach
Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis celebrates TD in second quarter at Clemson Tigers, Sept. 23, 2023
Posted at 5:12 PM, Sep 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-26 17:13:38-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis may be the new "Tiger King," but it seems he's angering the imprisoned owner of the original moniker.

Convicted felon Joe Exotic recently went on a social media rant to lambaste the former Benjamin School star, who's capitalizing on Florida State's wins against LSU and Clemson with a recent addition to his apparel line.

Travis commemorated last weekend's 31-24 win at Clemson by unveiling a new T-shirt showing a caricature of the West Palm Beach native sitting on a throne and wearing a crown while holding a football. At his feet are a pair of tigers – one painted in Clemson orange and the other in LSU yellow. Both teams are known as the Tigers.

The shirts, which are described on Travis' website as "Jordan Travis College King 2.0 WHT," are being sold for $31.24 each.

However, Exotic has taken time during his current prison stint to call out Travis for stealing his trademark.

Joe Exotic in front of zoo in 2013
In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado-Passage answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. "Joe Exotic" was charged in a murder-for-hire scheme alleging he tried to hire someone to kill a Florida woman.

"Jordan Travis was 6 years old when I became The Tiger King, it is my trademark, my intellectual property and I'm sick of others cashing on my Trademark just because President (Joe) Biden cares nothing about me being wrongfully in prison in America," he wrote. "I will give ANY ATTORNEY 80% of a settlement to sue Jordan Travis and ALL companies selling stuff using Tiger King."

Exotic became a household name after the release of the popular 2020 Netflix series "Tiger King," which chronicles his life as an Oklahoma zookeeper and his years-long feud with Carole Baskin, who operates Big Cat Rescue in Florida. Exotic was accused of hiring a hit man to kill Baskin, convicted and sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.

That hasn't stopped him from blasting Travis in a pair of social media posts.

"Until Jordan Travis walks in a cage with 20 full grown tigers and kisses them on the head, leave the Tiger King business to me," Exotic wrote Sunday.

Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis throws pass during first half at Clemson Tigers, Sept. 23, 2023
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis throws a pass during the first half against Clemson, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Clemson, S.C.

He then took a shot at Travis, claiming Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz is more deserving of the crown.

"How can you claim to be king of anything when you're not even king in your own state?" Exotic wrote Monday.

Mertz and the Gators play LSU and Florida State in November.

This isn't the first time Travis has sought to profit off a Florida State win. He sold similar shirts depicting him wearing a crown and sitting on a throne in front of a tiger after the Seminoles stunned LSU 24-23 in New Orleans last season.

Travis unveiled his apparel line by selling "4th and 14" shirts after his game-winning performance against Miami in 2021, which included a fourth-and-14 pass with less than a minute remaining. The Seminoles went on to beat the Hurricanes 31-28.