Banana-throwing fan: It wasn't racially motivated

The Sports Xchange

The San Francisco Giants fan who threw a banana that landed near Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones on Sunday insisted that incident was not racially motivated.

Alexander Poulides told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday he was angry at the Giants, who ended up losing to the Orioles, 10-2.

"Oh, my god," Poulides said after realizing the uproar that resulted from the incident. "I threw a banana on my way out."

Poulides, 42, said he grabbed a banana off a catering cart in the bottom of the ninth inning and hurled it toward the field in disgust. He called his action "an indiscretion."

"I'm embarrassed and shocked by the outcome," the Northern California resident told the Mercury News. "In hindsight, I wish I didn't do it and I apologize. I'm very sorry."

Jones was ready to put the incident in the past and focus on Monday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"You never know what could be thrown toward the players. Our backs are turned. It's unfortunate that things happen like that, but it ain't going stop me, myself and the Orioles," he said. "We have games to win. It's mid-August. I've got a bigger concern in my head than someone's ignorance or act of whatever. You know what I mean?

The Giants said they reviewed security video but were unable to identify the person responsible for the act, which can be considered a racial insult.

Earlier on Monday, the Giants organization apologized to both the Orioles and to Jones.

"We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident," the team said in a statement released through the media. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans."

After Sunday's game, Jones had tweeted: "I want to thank whatever slapd--- threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jacka--."

According to the Baltimore Sun, Jones did not mention the incident during postgame interviews, but by 10:45 p.m. EST, his tweet was retweeted nearly 1,700 times.

Later Sunday night, Jones responded via Twitter to those who defended the incident.

"I love how some ppl are defending the actions by someone today. Shows how u really are also. All good wit me. I just #StayHungry," he wrote.

The incident occurred less than a week after a statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese in Brooklyn, N.Y., was vandalized with racial slurs.

Similar incidents have occurred in recent years at NHL games and European soccer matches.

Jones, who is black, homered and drove in four runs on Sunday.

Staci Slaughter, the Giants' senior vice president of communications, said the club only found out about the incident after Jones tweeted what had happened.

"I wish the incident could've been reported to us sooner just so we could have tried to address it right away," Slaughter said. "Our fans are generally very well behaved, but when we catch somebody doing something like that, we have zero tolerance and we immediately eject them."