Joe Exotic calls out Florida State’s Jordan Travis for new ‘Tiger King’ nickname: ‘It’s my trademark’

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis has been dubbed the “Tiger King” after taking down the LSU and Clemson Tigers this season, and reality TV star Joe Exotic, a convicted felon, wants a lawyer to step up to help him bring about legal action.

Born Joseph Maldonado, the 60-year-old took to social media to voice his displeasure with Travis for using this new nickname to create T-shirts that depict him sitting on a throne with a crown as two tigers sit at his feet in Clemson orange and LSU yellow. Maldonado says the “Tiger King” name is his trademark.

The T-shirts are being sold for $31.24 a piece, which is an ode to the final score of Florida State’s win over Clemson this past Saturday.


Joe Schreibvogel talks about a lawsuit at GW Exotic Animal Park, Feb. 28, 2013 in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. (Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via the USA TODAY Network)

“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 in on my Trademark just because President Biden cares nothing about me being wrongfully in prison in America,” Maldonado wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. 

“I will give ANY ATTORNEY 80% of a settlement to sue Jordan Travis and ALL companies selling stuff using Tiger King. Time quarterbacks and anyone else in this country stops stealing from others, which attorney would like to take this multimillion dollar case? DM me!”

Maldonado took it a step further to call out both the Biden and Trump administrations in his X rant.

“President Trump, you see the s— your swamp did to my life with the corrupt DOJ you ran? The evidence is there they all admit to perjury and a plot to kill me and they all walk free. Biden should make this right and gain support and FREE JOE EXOTIC,” he wrote.


Maldonado finished with another shot at Travis.

“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,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Maldonado has gotten angry with sports figures as he has denounced Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on social media. Burrow was called the “Tiger King” because of his success with the Bengals, and Maldonado took exception to it in a letter he wrote to Burrow this month.

Jordan Travis after touchdown

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis reacts after scoring against the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

“I see the news, magazines as well as yourself calling you the Tiger King,” Maldonado said in the letter he posted on X. “Everyone in the world is exploiting me and my trademarks while I sit innocent in an American Federal Prison. I have been the Tiger King before you got out of high school. Tiger King is my trademark and my intellectual property.”

“My life has been destroyed, my parents have died and I continue to fight cancer and 2 incurable diseases while you all ride fame and attention off my life’s hard work.”

Maldonado was sentenced to 22 years in prison on federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder-for-hire in 2019. Burrow said he didn’t like the “Tiger King” nickname because of how it was associated with what Maldonado was found doing to animals.

Maldonado even asked Burrow to help him find a lawyer to get him out of jail, though Burrow never responded to the request.

Joe Exotic and Jordan Travis side by side

Convicted felon and media personality Joe Exotic took exception with Jordan Travis being called the “Tiger King.” (Getty Images/File)


As for Travis, he has yet to respond as well. He’s focusing on the Seminoles’ next game as they’ll take on Virginia Tech at home on Oct. 7.

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