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Fan Accused of Shouting Racial Slur Was Actually Just Trying to Get Attention of Rockies Mascot 'Dinger'

By Stephen Douglas
Dinger.
Dinger. / Norm Hall/Getty Images
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Sunday's Colorado Rockies - Miami Marlins game was marred by an ugly fan incident. Or so everyone briefly thought. During the top of the 9th inning, with Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson at the plate, the broadcast clearly picked up a fan shouting something over and over. Many people watching heard what sounded like a racial slur.

The consesus was that the guilty party should immediately be found and punished.

A short time after the game the Rockies released a statement saying they were disgusted by the incident and launching an investigation. So far the offender has not been singled out, which seemed surprising. The crowd was dwindling in the 9th inning of a (then) six-run game. There were cameras and security everywhere. How could this person simply walk away? Maybe because no one was shouting a racial slur at all.

As the Internet got down to detective work, another possibility presented itself. The fan might not have been shouting a racial slur at all. He might have just been shouting to the Rockies dinosaur mascot, "Dinger." One video shows the fan behind home plate in the original videos appearing to signal to the mascot a couple sections over.

This explanation was good enough for the Rockies, who said this morning that they tracked down the fan involved.

So the truth may be that we had a new, very not safe for work audio version of The Dress. An auditory illusion like Yanny or Laurel, or maybe even the application of the McGurk effect. If Brian Anderson had been at bat when that fan tried to get Dinger's attention, would anyone have noticed?

So this time there was nothing nefarious, which is a nice change in 2021.

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