Soccer Star Offers to Pay Laid Off Mascot's Full Salary to 'Continue His Job He Loves So Much'

A 31-year-old soccer star with the Arsenal Football Club is offering financial assistance to the man who served as the team's mascot for three decades before being laid off.

In a tweet on Tuesday, midfielder Mesut Ozil announced he is willing to pay the "full salary" of Jerry Quy, who played Arsenal's mascot, "Gunnersaurus," for 27 years. According to ESPN, Quy's role as the mascot was recently eliminated because fans aren't allowed at their stadium due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous & loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years," Ozil said in his tweet.

"As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player," he continued, "so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much."

The team previously announced they were eliminating 55 jobs from Arsenal's staff to counter the financial losses caused by the pandemic, ESPN noted.

But the decision to cut Gunnersaurus from the team's operations was met with much criticism from fans since it came on the same day Arsenal allotted $58 million to sign Thomas Partey to the club. As the New York Times reports, Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is worth more than $8 billion and also owns the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Nuggets franchises of the NFL and NBA, respectively.

An Arsenal spokesperson told the Times they would not comment on Ozil's offer to cover Quy's salary, but reassured fans Gunnersaurus would return once fans were able to go to the stadium.

Ozil's announcement garnered much attention on social media, with fans praising him for the selfless decision.

"Love you Mesut. Always been class," one fan wrote.

Added another: "A classy gesture from a classy human being."

As ESPN points out, Ozil is the club's top-earner and makes nearly $452,000 per week.

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