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Rockies Say Fan Shouted 'Dinger,' Instead of Racial Slur

The Rockies released a statement Monday after conducting an investigation into whether or not a fan used a a racial slur during the ninth inning of Sunday's game and said that the fan was actually calling for the attention of the team's mascot, Dinger.

The news was first reported 9News' Steve Staeger on Monday after the Rockies told him the news first. 

According to 9News, Colorado has spoken to the fan who confirmed his action and also reviewed video from the local broadcast. The Athletic confirmed Staeger's reporting through a Rockies source. According to ESPN, the Rockies also contacted another fan sitting near the man, who also told the team that the man was shouting, "Dinger."

The incident in question occurred during the top of the ninth inning during Sunday's game against the Marlins. Microphones appeared to catch a fan yelling a potential racial slur while Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, who is Black, was at the plate. The incident could be heard on the Bally Sports broadcast.

The Rockies said they were investigating the incident, adding at the time that they were "disgusted at the racial slur by a fan" directed at Brinson. 

"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," the team said in a statement.

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark also released a statement Sunday evening, emphasizing that racism will not be tolerated "on or off the field."

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According to 9News, the team said that no one on the field, including Brinson, heard anything offensive. However, after hearing the video, he's since changed his opinion. 

"So I watched the video at least 50 times in the past 15-16 hours," Brinson said on a video conference call before Monday night's game at San Diego, per ESPN. "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. 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."

Even though Brinson says he has never been been called the slur in person, he emphasized that he is lucky and that other players most certainly have. 

"But this does happen in our game," he said. "I don't know if a lot of people know this. Again personally, I've never been called that .. but I know a lot of Black players have and it's disgusting and needs to stop like right now. There's no place for that in sports, there's no place for that in life. I just don't want to have that situation thrown under the rug."

The Rockies won the game, 13–8. Brinson went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.

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