The Colorado Rockies said a fan suspected of repeatedly yelling a racial slur at Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson was actually hollering at ‘Dinger,’ the club’s purple, polka-dotted dinosaur mascot.
The team said Monday that fans who were seated nearby contacted the club in defense of the fan after it put out a statement saying it was disgusted by epithets hurled at Brinson when he was up in the ninth inning of Colorado’s 13-8 victory Sunday.
The club then contacted the fan, who explained it was just a big misunderstanding and that he was only trying to get the attention of Dinger, who was two sections over.
The Rockies did not identify the fan.
The man’s shouts were picked up by both teams’ broadcasts although the Bally Sports Florida broadcast was clearer than Colorado’s because Rockies broadcaster Drew Goodman was talking at the time.
Nobody on the field, including Brinson, reacted to the shouts.
On Twitter, keen-eyed observers pointed out that a Colorado Rockies fan (top right) was trying to get the attention of the team mascot, Dinger (far left), and was not uttering the infamous racial slur on Sunday
The n-word appeared to ring out as Miami Marlins midfielder Lewis Brinson took the plate at Denver Sunday, but the Rockies are now saying that the fan did not use a racial slur
Brinson didn’t react, with the apparent racist incident sparking fury. Some viewers now think the man may actually have been calling out for the Colorado Rockies’ mascot Dinger
Brinson is seen at the plate while the fan in question behind him raises his arms, apparently in search of Dinger, the mascot
The image above shows the Rockies mascot, Dinger, in 2019. Several people on social media pointed out that the spectator who was initially thought to have said the n-word out loud was actually calling for Dinger
The Rockies issued this statement shortly after the game, but have yet to comment on whether the slur was actually misheard
The moment went viral on social media, with multiple fans condemning it. But others have since come forward to say they believe the fan may actually have been screaming the name of the Rockies’ mascot – a purple dinosaur called Dinger.
The Rockies on Sunday released a statement which read: ‘The Colorado Rockies are disgusted at the racial slur by a fan directed at the Marlins’ Lewis Brinson during the ninth inning of today’s game.
‘Although the subject was not identified prior to the end of the game, the Rockies are still investigating this incident.’
The team added: ‘The Rockies have zero tolerance for any forms of racism or discrimination, and any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected and banned from Coors Field.’
The incident ignited outrage on social media.
Aram Leighton tweeted: ‘A fan at Coors Field just yelled the N-word at Lewis Brinson so loudly that the Bally Sports microphone picked it up. Absolutely horrible.
‘That fan should be held just as accountable as the fan who threw a baseball at Verdugo. Ban him.’
Kevin M. Kruse tweeted: ‘That’s where the ump should immediately stop play until security finds the a*****e and throws him out.’
Jose Mussi tweeted: ‘Until the league starts punishing the club for the disgraceful behavior of their fans, like it is done in Europe, this will not stop.
‘Suspend the Rockies and see what happens.’
Michael Taylor commented: ‘Give them a chance to catch the guy. If they do nothing, next five home games are forfeited.’
They should’ve stopped the game; figured something out; nailed that guy.
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘But that’s the thing about America; gotta keep playing the game; gotta keep going, pretending it’s not happening.’
But other tweeters later claimed to have debunked the racist claim.
One replied to the Rockies’ statement with a grab from the clip, saying: ‘if you look closely he was trying to get the attention of ‘Dinger’ the Rockies mascot.’
Another account called Rockiesnowfanpage said: ‘Watch the video a few times and listen very closely…it sounds like he’s saying ‘Dinger!!!’ Plus, he is waving and not even looking at the field of play #Rockies.’
Dinger, the Rockies’ mascot, is not well known outside of Denver, which could have added to the confusion
A third tweeter called Michael agreed, saying: ‘Upon first hearing this audio, I was disgusted. Went back a few hours later to give the mascot theory a chance. I think it’s totally possible that we’re hearing a drunk dude yelling ‘Dinger’.’
In 2017, fans at Fenway Park in Boston hurled racial slurs and threw a bag of peanuts at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones during a game against the hometown Red Sox.
Jones said he was called the n-word several times. He said it was the worst abuse he had ever endured during his 12-year career.
The Red Sox issued an official apology to Jones. The incident even prompted condemnations from then-Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
Several players came forward to support Jones and recount their own experiences of being subjected to racist taunts at Fenway.
The day after the incident, Jones was given a standing ovation by Red Sox fans.