Colorado Rockies Misheard 'Racial Slur' Video Watched Nearly 3 Million Times

The Colorado Rockies have said a fan who was suspected of allegedly racially abusing Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson was instead trying to get the attention of the club's mascot.

The fan, who hasn't been identified, had reportedly aimed a racial slur at Brinson during an at-bat on Sunday at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Brinson, who is Black, stepped up to the plate in the top of the ninth innings of the Rockies' 13-8 win against the Marlins.

After he faced the second pitch, the microphones of the Bally Sports Florida broadcast picked up what sounded like a fan using the N-word.

The gesture drew widespread condemnation from both teams and the MLB, before it emerged the fan was in fact shouting "Dinger" to get the attention of the Rockies' club mascot.

In a statement on Monday, the Rockies said they conducted an investigation and that fans who were seated nearby the alleged offender contacted the team to confirm he had in fact not uttered a racial slur.

"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 team said in a statement.

"The Rockies remain dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for all fans, players and guests at Coors Field. [...] Any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected from Coors Field."

Grainy footage posted on Twitter appeared to show a Rockies fan in the first row just behind home plate seemingly gesticulating toward the mascot during Brinson's at-bat.

Speaking to The Associated Press after the game on Sunday, Marlins spokesman Jason Latimer said "neither Lewis [Brinson], nor any other Marlins on the field or in the dugout, heard what was shouted."

On Monday, Brinson confirmed he had not heard the alleged slur on the field but that after reviewing the video he felt convinced the fan had indeed used the N-word.

"So I watched the video at least 50 times in the past 15-16 hours," he told reporters on a video conference call ahead of the Marlins' road game against the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

"I watched it a lot, especially when I heard that he said Dinger instead of the N-word. I personally—this is again my personal opinion—I personally keep hearing the N-word. It's not that I want to hear it, I never want to hear it."

On Sunday, former ESPN and CNN anchor Keith Olbermann and 2009 World Series champion Jerry Hairston Jr. were among those sharing footage of the alleged incident on Twitter, with the two clips racking up approximately three million views at the time of writing.

"Shouting the N-word at a game? Where is the @Rockies statement on how they apprehended the racist and what they did to him?," Olbermann tweeted.

"Where is @mlb 's investigation? This is a private business and they are responsible for the conduct of their patrons."

Shouting the N-word at a game? Where is the @Rockies statement on how they apprehended the racist and what they did to him? Where is @mlb’s investigation?

This is a private business and they are responsible for the conduct of their patrons.
pic.twitter.com/LEeJVLmpVz

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 8, 2021

Hairston Jr. added: "There are cameras just about everywhere in MLB park. Hopefully @MLB & @Rockies find the coward and take action."

There are cameras just about everywhere in MLB parks. Hopefully @MLB & @Rockies find the coward and take action. #MLB pic.twitter.com/5wKxyFWgAv

— Jerry Hairston, Jr. (@TheRealJHair) August 8, 2021

The Rockies eventually released a statement after the game, condemning the incident and said they had opened an investigation.

"The Colorado Rockies are disgusted at the racial slur by a fan directed at the Marlins' Lewis Brinson during the ninth inning of today's game," the team said.

"Although the subject was not identified prior to the end of the game, the Rockies are still investigating this incident.

"The Rockies have zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination, and any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected and banned from Coors Field."

MLB teams must "continue to work together to ensure that racism is never tolerated on or off the field," MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said in a statement on Sunday night.

"While many are truly committed to respect and equality for all, the abhorrent racial animus displayed today highlights that there is still much work to be done," Clark added.

Paul Severino, the Marlins' play-by-play announcer, echoed the statement.

I’m absolutely disgusted at the language that was picked up by the mics late in the game today.

The level of hate that was displayed has no place in this world. Unfortunately it’s still far too prevalent. We need to be better. And soon.

Awful.

— Paul Severino (@SeverinoMLB) August 8, 2021

"I'm absolutely disgusted at the language that was picked up by the mics late in the game today," he tweeted.

"The level of hate that was displayed has no place in this world. Unfortunately it's still far too prevalent. We need to be better. And soon. Awful."

Severino had immediately apologized to viewers as soon as the racial slurs were heard during the broadcast.

Update 8/10/21, 9:50 a.m. ET: This article was updated with a statement from the Colorado Rockies to reflect their investigation found the fan had not used any racial slur, but was in fact trying to get the mascot's attention. The headline has been updated to reflect this new information.

 Lewis Brinson of the Miami Marlins
Lewis Brinson #25 of the Miami Marlins at bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 28 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Will Newton/Getty Images