The Rockies fan was trying to get the attention of the team’s mascot, “Dinger,” but was accused of using the N-word during Brinson’s at-bat. A video later surfaced of him sitting behind home plate and waving and shouting to the mascot to come by him.
Brinson, who is Black, said that he didn’t hear the fan shouting during the game, but after listening to the video, he said that he keeps “hearing the N-word.”
Brinson also called for the Rockies to retire the mascot’s name because “it sounds a little similar” to the N-word, but the team doesn’t plan on making any changes.
“So I watched the video at least 50 times in the past 15-16 hours,” Brinson said during a Zoom call before Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres. “I watched it a lot, especially when I heard that he said Dinger instead of the N-word.”
Brinson continued: “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. Personally I’ve never been called that in person to my face on the baseball field, outside the baseball field, ever, so I don’t know what my reaction would be if I got called that.
“But to now, saying that again, I haven’t talked to the Rockies or that fan personally. If that’s the case, then I’m sorry for any backlash or anything he’s getting right now,” he added.
On Monday, the Rockies announced that the unidentified fan was yelling for the team’s mascot.
“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,” the team added, “and any fan using derogatory language of any kind will be ejected from Coors Field.”
Steve Staeger of 9NEWS in Denver said he spoke to the fan, who doesn’t want his identity released. The man told Staeger that he was at the game with his wife and grandkids, and he wanted all of them to take a picture with the Rockies’ mascot.
Staeger says the man was “devastated” that people heard him the wrong way. The man reportedly didn’t hear about any of the news until his daughter called him today because the Rockies called her about the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.