File this for now under “allegations by a few people,” but the allegations are enough to get ESPN officials to review game audio from last night’s Cubs-Cardinals matchup. The allegation: that fans in Busch Stadium could be heard taunting Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward with racial slurs.
The allegations, it should be noted, come from four people on Twitter, who claim that they heard the n-word being directed at Heyward via crowd mics on ESPN’s broadcast. The New York Daily News was the first to pass along the allegations made on Twitter. The St. Louis-Post Dispatch has a more in depth story on it, along with the information that ESPN is reviewing audio.
It’s indisputable that many in the crowd booed Heyward, who was making his first trip back to St. Louis since leaving the Cardinals via free agency this past offseason. For what it’s worth, Heyward didn’t complain about it at all, let alone mention anything particularly untoward about the booing. Rather, Heyward just brushed it off by saying that it just shows the fans missed him and, in that sense, it was almost a compliment if you look at it just so.
Whether it was just run-of-the-mill greetings to an ex-local player or something more remains to be seen.
UPDATE: At least one media outlet which reviewed video can find no evidence to support the Twitter users’ allegations. That came via the Comcast feed. When ESPN finishes its own review, we’ll obviously follow up.
UPDATE: More debunking. There has yet to be a confirmation of the allegations: