ATLANTA - A tough season for the Atlanta Falcons got worse when the team mascot issued an apology on Twitter after tweeting about suicide.
Freddie the Falcon tweeted, "Had a good time at the #ood suicide prevention walk today. I may need to go back if our season continues the way it is.”
The mascot participated in American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Walk at Piedmont Park on Sunday afternoon.
The AFSP website says, "Every fall, family members, friends, and colleagues walk 3-5 miles together in hundreds of communities across the nation to prevent suicide, raise awareness, and end the stigma that surrounds depression and other mental disorders."
An estimated 1,000 people attended the event, which raised $100,000, according to officials. The AFSP Facebook page posted pictures of the event, including Freddie the Falcon.
Three hours after the initial tweet the mascot deleted his first message and posted an apology, just as the Falcons lost their sixth game of the season.
<a href="http://twitpic.com/dk5c7q" ><img src="http://twitpic.com/show/thumb/dk5c7q.gif" width="320" height="180" alt="Matt Ryan Interception"></a>
"I am truly sorry for my inappropriate and insensitive tweet. It was in poor taste," the tweet said.
The AFSP responded with a statement later in the day: ""For the more than 1,000 survivors of suicide loss who participated in today's walk, suicide prevention is no laughing matter. We hope everyone who joined us today, including Freddie, support our vision for a world without suicide."
Suicide has become a hot-button issue in the National Football League. Former University of Georgia and San Diego Chargers Linebacker Paul Oliver was the latest player to take his own life, in Cobb County in September. Defensive superstar Junior Seau took his own life in 2012, drawing attention to brain injuries suffered by players.