11:34 AM ET UPDATE—From Steve Staeger of 9NEWS Denver:
NEW: The Rockies tell me last night’s incident was a fan shouting to get the attention of the Rockies mascot Dinger, not a racial slur. The Rockies have spoken to the fan who confirms this is the case. They’ve also reviewed video from the local broadcast. #9News— Steve Staeger (@SteveStaeger) August 9, 2021
My original podcast and commentary on the incident can be found below.
Lewis Brinson and all of the other Black men and women in baseball put up with so much hatred just to participate in the game they love. Ely Sussman wants to see white people take a stronger stance against intolerance.
Here is Episode 128.
With Brinson batting in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, the racial slur n***** could be heard twice—loud and disturbingly clear both times—on the Bally Sports Florida television broadcast. There was no ambiguity. I have preserved the unedited footage here for anybody with doubts about what was said.
Craig Mish reports that the Marlins dugout could not hear it. It wasn’t audible from the pressbox either, according to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. Brinson’s reaction at the plate in the immediate aftermath suggests that he was also out of range.
However, the Marlins’ Black outfielder was unequivocally the target of the slur. The Rockies came out and said so in a postgame statement:
“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. 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.”
This has happened before at major league games, and inevitably, it will happen again. It speaks volumes about the indifference of the white community that the offender wasn’t immediately identified and reported by the people seated nearby. How can it still be in 2021 that a game is allowed to continue while a fan is attacking one of the players like that?
There is no way to check a person for their hatred at the ballpark entrance. But once bigots reveal themselves, it is the responsibility of the rest of us to flush them out.
Brinson is in the midst of the best stretch of his career. Since his most recent call-up to the active roster (July 19), he ranks third among all Marlins position players in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement, behind only Miguel Rojas and the since-traded Starling Marte.
Brinson is on the major league player committee of The Players Alliance, which is “committed to increasing opportunities for the Black community in every aspect of baseball, eliminating barriers of entry that currently exist by providing kids the tools they need to play the game, delivering life-changing access to technology, and helping professionals reach their goal of someday working for an MLB team or front office.”
I will be donating $1 to The Players Alliance for every new review that the Fish Stripes podcast receives on Apple between now and the end of the 2021 MLB regular season.
Out of an abundance of caution, I’m closing off the comments on this article page. But you can get in touch with me via email at Ely.Sussman@gmail.com with any additional thoughts on the incident.
Consider donating to The Players Alliance to help them increase opportunities for the Black community in every aspect of baseball. Follow Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) and Ely (@RealEly) on Twitter. Full coverage here at FishStripes.com.
Fish Stripes is ranked by Feedspot as the world’s No. 2 Miami Marlins podcast (trailing only the pod that’s produced by the franchise itself). Our programs include The Offishial Show, Big Fish Small Pod, Marlins Barbecue and Earning Their Stripes. All new episodes are posted to FishStripes.com/podcasts. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Megaphone or wherever you normally get your pods from.