The Rockies have answers after a spectator at Coors Field was misheard yelling the N-word at least twice while the Marlins’ Lewis Brinson was batting in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game.
Per Steve Staeger of 9 News in Denver, the Rockies say that no racial slurs were yelled, and the fan in question was actually trying to get the attention of the team’s mascot, Dinger.
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 reports that the fan in question was there with his wife and grandchildren, and he wanted to get the mascot’s attention so he could grab a photograph with his family. Dinger was in a nearby section.
Audio of the incident was picked up by field microphones used for the game telecast. Per Staeger, no one on the field or the area behind home plate heard anything offensive.
The Rockies said in a statement Sunday night, believing they heard a slur, that they don’t know who said the word but are “disgusted” by the act.
“Although the subject was not identified prior to the end of the game, the Rockies are still investigating this incident,” the team said. “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.”
The supposed slurs during the plate appearance by Brinson, who is Black, came through loud and clear on the broadcast (you can listen through this link), although Marlins spokesman Jason Latimer told The Associated Press that Brinson did not hear what was said.
“Neither Lewis, nor any other Marlins on the field or in the dugout, heard what was shouted,” the AP quoted Latimer as saying in a text message. “We brought the matter to the attention of the Rockies. How the matter is being handled, I would have to defer to them.”
Marlins TV play-by-play announcer Paul Severino immediately apologized on-air for the slurs being audible, however. He said later on Twitter he was “disgusted” by what he heard.
“The level of hate that was displayed has no place in this world. Unfortunately it’s still far too prevalent. We need to be better. And soon. Awful,” he wrote.
Brinson had not commented on social media as of late Sunday. The outfielder went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in the game.
Media on Twitter questioned why the Rockies were unable to identify and punish the offender in close to real time.
The fact that this person was not found immediately, that no stadium worker found out and, especially, that no fans pointed out the person is highly bothersome. Who are we? https://t.co/W4LlvXitgU
— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) August 9, 2021
Couldn’t identify a guy who shouted out the hard R so that everyone within range, & especially Lewis Brinson, heard it? No fan was disturbed enough to say or do something? They laughed it off? Applauded it? Guy knew his surroundings well enough to sense there’d be no consequences https://t.co/mURxW9XRE4
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) August 9, 2021
What happened to Lewis Brinson today was disgusting. And the people who sat back and let someone say the n-word repeatedly at someone are just as guilty as the racist piece of shit that said it.
— Russell Dorsey (@Russ_Dorsey1) August 9, 2021
To all the people who were sitting around the disgusting human who was yelling a racial slur at Lewis Brinson today in Colorado PLEASE come forward so this person can be identified and hopefully be permanently banned from ALL MLB stadiums. This can’t be tolerated. #mlb #rockies
— Kristie Rieken (@kristieAP) August 9, 2021