Brandon Phillips Accuses Pittsburgh Pirates Player of Racism
Update: Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 12:40 p.m. ET
Despite having a lot of fingers pointed in his direction, Pirates pitcher Jared Hughes released a statement clarifying what he said during his verbal altercation with Phillips during Monday's game. (via Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
"In response to Brandon Phillips’ TV interview yesterday prior to the game, I feel compelled to once again make it perfectly clear that I did not make any comment with a racial undertone or connotation during our exchange on Monday night, period. While I cannot repeat everything that I said because I did swear, it is obvious when reviewing the tape that I in no way, shape or form made any remark that was in any way connected to race. It is not how I was raised and not who I am as a person."
Hughes and Phillips reportedly cleared the air after their incident on Monday. It sounds as if the whole thing was just a misunderstanding, so hopefully things will get back to some semblance of normalcy.
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Update: Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4:45 p.m. ET
Phillips said he resolved things with Hughes today, via Cincinnati.com:
We reached out, and me and Mr. Hughes had a great conversation before I came to the stadium today. It was the best thing that ever happened, just talking to him about what happened, talking to him about things that I heard and stuff.
Phillips also noted, via Cincinnati.com:
It was just a big misunderstanding. When you say certain things in the heat of the moment, you really don’t mean it. You forgive people. He forgave me. I forgive him. It’s the baseball family. I love him as a brother.
Update: Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4:19 p.m. ET
The back-and-forth between Phillips and Hughes has come to an end, with Andrew McCutchen as the mediator, according to Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
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Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is not known for exaggerating when he speaks, so to hear him call another player racist makes you take notice.
There is no name attached to the accusation, though John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer did point out that Phillips was involved in a situation late in the game.
The incident occurred in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Phillips was hit by a pitch from Jared Hughes. As Phillips was jogging down to first base, he picked up the baseball and flipped it back to the mound.
Hughes did not take too kindly to the ball flip and started jawing at Phillips. After that happened, the home plate umpire warned both benches, and play resumed.
It should be noted that Fay said he did not go down to the clubhouse after the game, so it is not known if Hughes is the player Phillips is talking about.
That was the only point of the game in which Phillips was involved in a situation with a player from the Pirates.
Since Phillips has brought this situation to light, there could be an investigation by Major League Baseball into what happened and what was said, according to Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk.
Hopefully MLB does get involved and gets to the bottom of the situation. Also, if you are looking to hear more from Phillips, Calcaterra notes that he will be on NBC Sports at 6 p.m. ET.
We will keep you updated on the incident as more information becomes available.
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