In very Philadelphia news, Gritty the mascot has been accused of punching a 13-year-old boy in the back and Philly detectives are investigating.
Local Philadelphia man Chris Greenwell said he brought his son, Brandon, to a meet-and-greet with the Flyers' mascot for a picture. This is what he says transpired next, per the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"In Greenwell’s telling, Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon walked away, Gritty got out of his chair, “took a running start," and “punched my son as hard as he could," Greenwell said Wednesday."- Philadelphia Inquirer
There is apparently no video footage of the alleged incident because there were no cameras pointed at the area where the meet-and-greet was taking place. Greenwell sent an email to the Flyers about the incident, and officials for the team said they investigated and found no evidence that Gritty punched the teenager. Greenwell then went to the police, and that's when this all went public. His central piece of evidence appears to be a chiropractor report, acquired after Greenwell took his son to get his back checked out.
First off-- should this have actually happened, I hope the kid is okay.
But the idea of Gritty (listed at 7'1" on his Wikipedia page) getting up to a full sprint before Falcon Punching some random teenager in the back is quite a mental visualization. And it doesn't sound like he'll be suffering for his troubles, given his dad is negotiating on his behalf for benefits:
"Comcast Spectacor officials said there was no proof that Gritty hit the boy, but offered special perks to make up for the “bad experience.” Greenwell suggested the Flyers show his son on the giant scoreboard or let him into the locker room to meet players and get autographs. The company offered to sit Brandon on the players’ bench during warm-ups before a future game."- Philadelphia Inquirer
Is this a hit job on the beloved Gritty, or is he up to no good when the cameras aren't on him? You decide.