A fan accused of shouting a racial slur at a Major League Baseball player mid-game actually used the name of a team mascot, the Colorado Rockies said, clarifying the issue after footage of the spectator stoked charges of racism.
“After a thorough investigation that included calls, emails and video clips from concerned fans, media and broadcast partners, the Colorado Rockies have concluded that the fan was indeed yelling for Rockies mascot Dinger in hopes of getting his attention for a photo, and there was never any racial slur that occurred,” the MLB team said on Monday.
The Rockies remain dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for all fans, players and guests at Coors Field, and any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected from Coors Field.
The controversy erupted following a Sunday game between the Rockies and the Miami Marlins, with some viewers believing a fan sitting near home plate used a racial slur toward Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson as he was up to bat.
The incident immediately prompted condemnations from the Rockies and the MLB, also sending hordes of netizens to Twitter to call for an investigation into the apparently bigoted fan. Liberal commentator Keith Olbermann demanded to know how the league “apprehended” him and “what they did to him” afterward, while Marlins play-by-play announcer Paul Severino said he was “absolutely disgusted.”
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While some of those who rushed to judgement have since walked back their initial commentary – such as USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale, who apologized for “jumping to the wrong conclusion” – some critics still held out hope for a scandal.
Reacting to the Rockies’ clarification on Monday, Olbermann insisted it somehow made matters more “confusing,” arguing that the team hadn’t “updated or retracted” its initial statement, which was issued prior to its investigation. He was taken to task by netizens, one observing “it’s not confusing unless you have a vested interest in the slur having been yelled,” while others urged him to acknowledge his error.
So the @Rockies have both RT’d Thomas Harding’s update on the supposed “Dinger” screamer AND not yet updated or retracted their statement of yesterday. The situation is obviously confusing. It may be impossible for them to make it less so, but doing this makes it more so: https://t.co/fK1dSxILc0
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 9, 2021
But again Keith… you have the opportunity to also say that you jumped the gun.And you haven’t.That’s disappointing.
— Jason Page (@TheBackPage) August 9, 2021
You are on the Rockies for not backing off their original stance and admitting they were wrong but here you are and you haven’t either
— Logan Beccio (@L_Beccio) August 9, 2021
Some commenters pointed their criticism toward the Rockies, saying the team should have held off on its condemnations until completing its probe and noting that the accused fan still hadn’t received an apology.
“I think we all learned a lesson here. Wait until we have facts before we start canceling people,” one user wrote.
The Rockies really should’ve been more thorough before releasing their first statement as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos and that’ll be a homerun. And so that’ll make it a 4-0 ballgame. I don’t know if I’ll be putting on this headset again
— Jared Baas (@paininthebaas) August 9, 2021
Hey @Rockies, you forgot the part in which you apologize to the fan! In the first release you made a direct accusation against the fan and that turned out to be false. How about an apology??
— Samuel Rodríguez G. (@samrogo) August 9, 2021
This apology is missing an apology LOL come on guys y’all are better than that
— Samito (@SamitoFPS) August 9, 2021
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