After informing you about the tough problems the Israeli League is currently having with its cheerleading teams, today we present an even worse problem now facing the French ProB team Boulazac: The mascot has gone on strike!
One month ago, the official mascot of Boulazac has announced that he would no longer fulfill this role. For 14 years, Stéphane Yonnet has put on his bear costume and performed for free in order to support his team. But Yonnet has now decided to stay on the bench. A volunteer going on strike: This could only happen in France…
So what happened?
Yonnet, who is 34 years old, thinks that the team needs to help him find a real job. Among the professional club’s 250 official sponsors, there should be someone that can give him a proper job with a decent salary; he would even accept a part-time job. Currently unemployed, Yonnet has just €600 in social aid from which to live: not even enough to pay for the fan bus transport to away games.
So far so good, but here I must add something. Boulazac BD should be ashamed that it is unable to purchase a bus ticket to away games for its own mascot. This is ridiculous in my opinion, as those transports cost generally about €10 per person. Whatever…
The tough thing, however, is that the whole family “works” as volunteers for the team; Stéphane’s dad is a regular volunteer, while his brother tapes the games. But now, enough is enough for Yount.
The team president/mayor of Boulazac knows about the situation, of course, but he does not really know what to do. He says that he has already helped Yonnet in finding him interim jobs but at present it is not easy to find him anything.
This does not console Stéphane and it is even worse for him, as someone else has taken his mascot role while he’s on strike. A high school kid is motivating the fans at the moment, which seems to be a very bad solution, according to the two-meter-tall Yonnet: That kid is 1.80 meters tall — in a bear outfit, that looks like nothing.
However, optimism still reigns in the region, as a new mascot costume representing a local editor’s comic character will be used from next season. We don’t know if Yonnet will ever take up his role again, but he thinks that this new costume will be a huge success among the fans.
To be continued…