Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley says a fan crossed the line by mentioning his children during an altercation during Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Fraley told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“You can say everything you want about me. I don’t really care. I’ve heard it all, all the way from college up to the big leagues now. But as soon as you start talking about my kids, you’ve crossed a line. There is a respect line that unfortunately I guess those guys didn’t understand. Right, wrong or indifferent, it was what I decided to do in order to express the emotions I felt were needed in that moment.
“I know it’s going viral and I hope it does. I hope fans can understand that us as professional athletes we’re people. We’re playing a game that is extremely hard. And if you cross a line talking about somebody’s family, especially somebody’s kids, just because you were sitting in the stands doesn’t mean you can do that. I felt like I needed to say something and that was the decision I made. I stand by it.”
A video that surfaced on social media showed Fraley approaching a fan during the fourth inning of Thursday's game, a 4-0 loss for the Reds.
The fan could be heard yelling "you got the wrong guy" toward Fraley before the outfielder shouted back "tell him to shut the f--k up." When Fraley walked back toward the dugout, the fan could be seen clapping his hands as he walked away.
Chris Devine @cdevine95
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Fraley told Nightengale that the comments about his children were shouted toward him shortly before he confronted the fan. Multiple fans were thrown out by security after the incident.
"The normal fan heckling toward me was the majority of the game leading up to that point," Fraley said. "Then for whatever reason in that moment, that dude decided to start talking about my kids and that’s where I drew the line."
Fraley is in his first season with the Reds after being acquired in a trade from the Seattle Mariners in March. He has appeared in 36 games for the franchise and his hitting .239/.328/.477 with seven home runs, 17 RBI and two stolen bases.
The 27-year-old made his MLB debut with the Mariners in 2019 and appeared in 97 games for the clubs across three seasons, hitting .196/.320/.336 with nine home runs, 37 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016.