On Sunday afternoon, the Bally Sports broadcast between the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins picked up audio of a man sounding as if he was repeatedly screaming a racial slur at Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, who is black.
The Rockies organization put out a statement condemning the incident.
“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,” the team said in a statement after the game. “Although the subject was not identified prior to the end of the game, the Rockies are still investigating this incident.
“The Rockies have zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination, and any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected and banned from Coors Field.”
Tony Clark — executive director for the MLBPA — also put out a statement.
“It is a painful reality that progress continues to be elusive in a world where ignorance and bigotry remain all too commonplace. While many are truly committed to respect and equality for all, the abhorrent racial animus displayed today highlights that there is still much to be done. We have to continue to work together to ensure that racism is never tolerated on or off the field.”
Executive Director Tony Clark’s statement regarding the incident in today’s game between the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies: pic.twitter.com/xndcxGYAJC
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) August 9, 2021
On Monday, a further investigation from a local Denver news outlet determined, with the help of the Colorado Rockies organization, that the man heard on the broadcast was in fact screaming at “Dinger,” the Rockies mascot, in order to get his attention.
“NEW: The Rockies tell me last night’s incident was a fan shouting to get the attention of the Rockies mascot Dinger, not a racial slur,” Denver news anchor Steve Staeger said on Twitter. “The Rockies have spoken to the fan who confirms this is the case. They’ve also reviewed video from the local broadcast.”
NEW: The Rockies tell me last night’s incident was a fan shouting to get the attention of the Rockies mascot Dinger, not a racial slur. The Rockies have spoken to the fan who confirms this is the case. They’ve also reviewed video from the local broadcast. #9News
— Steve Staeger (@SteveStaeger) August 9, 2021
Staeger also reported speaking with the fan in question, who told him that he was not comfortable having his identity released and is nervous about what might happen next.
The fan was reportedly at the game with his wife and grandkids and was attempting to get the attention of the Rockies mascot, named “Dinger,” in order to get a picture with him. He was not aware of the investigation into the “incident” until his daughter called him Monday morning to inform him.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com confirmed Staeger’s report.
“I have talked to the Rockies, who investigated the incident, tracked the fan, talked to [Marlins] Lewis Brinson,” Harding said on Twitter. “And as many of you and [9News Denver] has reported, the fan was yelling for mascot “Dinger.” Apologies come from the club, which also thought it hears the insult. And from me for casting aspersions on the fan base and stadium worker. The team also tracked video and audio from both broadcasts, even talked to season ticket holders, the fan and his wife. I am happy for the conclusion.”
… me for casting aspersions on the fan base and stadium worker. The team also tracked video and audio from both broadcasts, even talked to season ticket holders, the fan and his wife. I am happy for the conclusion.
— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) August 9, 2021
While we often jump to quick, unreasonable conclusions in today’s society, the audio can certainly be interpreted as a man yelling a racial slur. The fact that a black player was also at the plate certainly lent credibility to the idea that a slur was used.
It’s fantastic news that an individual was not in fact comfortable enough to yell such a horrendous slur at a player. Now, we’ll see how social media reacts after having a — fully justified — meltdown last night.
The Rockies were in the news earlier in the MLB season after Coors Field was awarded the 2021 All-Star Game when the game was moved away from Atlanta due to Georgia’s Election Integrity Bill.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with the clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said at the time. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
The move was met with much anger from conservatives, as Major League Baseball clearly appeared to pick a political side. However, many prominent members of the Left applauded the move.
“Congratulations to Major League Baseball for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens,” former president Barack Obama said. “There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.”
Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 3, 2021
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].