Ohio State University mascot won’t march in Pride parade

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

The university coaching staff cited safety concerns after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando 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 OSU’s president and other officials, students and staff still plan to participate in the festival.

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