Rockies say fan who appeared to yell racial slur at Lewis Brinson was shouting 'Dinger' at mascot

Miami Marlins right fielder Lewis Brinson (25) in the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The Rockies are looking for the fan who appeared to yell racial slurs at Lewis Brinson. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Colorado Rockies have identified a fan whom microphones appeared to catch yelling racial slurs at Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson during Sunday's game, an incident the team says left it "disgusted."

The alleged slurs came in the ninth inning at Coors Field with Brinson at the plate and seemed clearly audible on the Bally Sports Florida broadcast, to the point that Marlins play-by-play announcer Paul Severino immediately apologized to viewers for the language.

However, several Rockies beat writers said Monday morning that the team determined, after reviewing video of the incident and speaking with the fan, his wife, and surrounding season ticket holders, that the man had actually been yelling "Dinger," the name of the Rockies' purple dinosaur mascot.

Team says man was shouting "Dinger"

As discussion of the incident swirled on social media, one alternate theory on what happened emerged and seemed somewhat convincing.

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that the Rockies' mascot, the purple dinosaur known as "Dinger," happened to be making his way through the stands behind home plate at the time of the alleged slur. At the same time, a fan was waving toward the mascot in a way that somewhat corresponds to the yells captured on broadcast. Other Rockies fans could also be heard saying "Dinger" earlier as well.

It really has to be seen and heard to be understood. You be the judge.

Several local beat writers gave an update after speaking with the Rockies on Monday. The team said that they'd tracked down the fan and discussed the incident with him and his wife, who told them that he'd been yelling "Dinger" to get the mascot's attention. After having conversations with additional fans that had been sitting in the area, and reviewing video of the incident from the local broadcast, they determined that the man was indeed yelling "Dinger" and not a racial slur.

The Rockies also told Steve Staeger of Denver's 9News that no one on the field heard anything offensive.

The team released an official statement about their investigation later on Monday, reiterating their policy against derogatory language.

Rockies responded quickly

Hours after the game, the Rockies released a statement denouncing the as-yet-unidentified fan and saying they were investigating the incident. The team indicated that any fan displaying such behavior would be banned from Coors Field.

The MLBPA also released a statement from executive director Tony Clark, saying there is work to be done in ridding racism from the sport.

Condemnation of the incident was swift on social media, with several members of the Marlins' broadcast team affirming their support for Brinson and calling for the fan to be banned.

Brinson ended the plate appearance in question with a walk, adding to a 2-for-4 performance in a game the Rockies won 13-8. The 27-year-old outfielder is having a career year, hitting .261/.296/.445, all career highs.

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