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Colorado Rockies Backtrack after Accusing Fan of Shouting Racial Slur at Opposing Player

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Update 4:00 p.m.: The Rockies released a statement on Monday on the incident, saying the team “concluded that the fan was indeed yelling for Rockies mascot Dinger in hopes of getting his attention for a photo.”

The Colorado Rockies backtracked on Monday after accusing a fan of shouting a racial slur at a Florida Marlins player during a game in Denver on Sunday night, a local NBC affiliate reported.

The fan was yelling the name of Rockies mascot “Dinger” the dinosaur, and was picked up by a microphone in the 9th inning while the game was broadcast. Rockies representatives spoke with the fan and confirmed his account by reviewing video of the incident, 9 NewsDenver reported.

The fan shouted the mascot’s name in the ninth inning while Marlins centerfielder Lewis Brinson was at bat. Some hearing the game broadcast initially believed the fan was shouting the n-word at Brinson.

The Rockies put out a statement on Sunday condemning the fan.

“The Colorado Rockies are disgusted at the racial slur by a fan directed at the Marlins’ Lewis Brinson….Although the subject was not identified prior to the end of the game, the Rockies are still investigating the incident.” the Rockies said in an initial statement posted on Twitter on Sunday evening. “Any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected and banned from Coors Field.”

However, Rockies officials said on Monday that initial reports that the fan used a racial slur were mistaken. The team apologized to the fan.

“No one on or around the field, or any of our ushers or fans, heard or reported hearing a slur,” a Rockies spokesperson told reporters.

Several media outlets had also reported that the fan had used a racial slur, including the Washington Post and Associated Press. The AP subsequently reported that the fan was in fact yelling the name of the Rockies’s mascot, in an article also carried by the Post.

The fan did not want to give his full name for fear of backlash on Twitter, he told 9 News. He added that he didn’t hear about the controversy until Monday, when his daughter contacted him.

MLB spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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