Buckle up, because this story is WILD.
The Miami Marlins were in Denver on Sunday afternoon finishing out a series with the host Colorado Rockies at Coors Field when Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson came to bat in the top of the ninth inning.
Miami was losing by a lot, but Brinson — who is Black — had already homered earlier in the game. And when he started his ninth inning at-bat against Rockies reliever Ben Bowden, something COMPLETELY unexpected happened…
After a couple of pitches at the beginning of the at-bat, on-field cameras and microphones broadcasting the game in Denver appeared to pick up a male fan’s voice yelling the N-Word as loud as they possibly could.
Watch (and listen) in this clip (below) and see what happens:
What. The. F**K?!?!
It was presumed to be a slur aimed at Brinson, but it’s interesting because Brinson doesn’t react to it at all. In fact, nobody on the field does, which is… weird? It’s so loud you can even hear it clearly on TV, surely it would have caused some commotion, right?
Well, the game was a blowout in the final inning, so lots of fans had already cleared out — but you’d think a guy yelling that loud down by the field would be heard by the players standing so close. But nobody reacted.
Even so, the Marlins TV play-by-play broadcaster Paul Severino did react in real time, apologizing for the sound while calling the game on the television feed sent back to Miami fans watching their club on the road. He then tweeted this (below) confirming that, at least from his perspective, he had heard an ugly, ugly racial slur:
Predictably, between the video being posted on Twitter and people like Severino sharing their early reactions to it all, reactions started flooding in on social media.
After the game, later on Sunday evening, the Rockies released their own statement about the incident, revealing that they were investigating what took place:
Let’s find the fan, ban him for life from ever being able to attend a baseball game again, and condemn racism in all forms!
But… wait a second. There’s one other thing y’all should know about this whole situation — and it’s this guy:
This is the Rockies’ mascot, a purple dinosaur named Dinger (in baseball “dinger” is also slang for a home run). In the ninth inning of home games, Dinger likes to come down to the seating area behind home plate, so he can run onto the field after the game and wave at fans.
Rockies fans started realizing that maybe the word being yelled wasn’t a racial slur, but a loud, boisterous call to the mascot, who was literally coming down towards the home plate seats right as the call came out. A deeper look at the video suggests that could at least be a possibility:
Listening closely, you can almost hear what you want to hear; the audio isn’t perfect, but thousands of people on Twitter were split between which word they heard — the racial slur, or the mascot’s name.
Overnight on Sunday and into Monday, the debate raged on. One could say it’s almost like a “Yanny/Laurel” debate but with much higher, uglier stakes…
Then, on Monday morning, a Denver-area 9 News reporter revealed that the Rockies had investigated the incident, interrogated ticket holders in those sections behind the plate, and confirmed the man had been screaming for the mascot:
Staeger went further, adding more reporting:
Later on Monday morning the Rockies’ beat reporter, Thomas Harding, confirmed that he spoke with Rockies officials and with the Marlins’ star outfielder Brinson, and that the fan had not uttered a racial slur:
In the end, Harding’s final sentence is the right one: thank goodness the man was only yelling for the mascot!
The fact that we live in a world where it could’ve even possibly been the other alternative is unfortunate, but thankfully, it turns out to have been nothing more than a mix-up.
What do U make of this crazy situation, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF with your take on it down in the comments (below)…
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