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Amid an investigation by MLB, Houston Astros’ reliever Hector Neris denied having used an anti-gay slur in the direction of Julio Rodriguez throughout a sport towards the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday evening, in line with Chandler Rome of The Athletic.
Neris additionally mentioned that he has complied with MLB and has spoken to folks relating to the investigation. He would not consider any punishment ought to be despatched his method.
“That didn’t occur and any suggestion on the contrary is flawed,” he said in a statement following the preliminary allegations. “My mom raised me to like and respect folks for who they’re and that’s how I dwell my life.”
“It is like if he hit me ‘I obtained you.’ At this time I say ‘I obtained you,’” he added. “We’ve had a pleasant competitors when one beats the opposite on the sphere, one thing that’s customary within the Dominican Republic and particularly amongst associates.”
The incident occurred within the sixth inning of Wednesday’s sport after Neris charged in the direction of Rodriguez and shouted one thing in his course after putting him out. The benches ultimately cleared and Neris issued an apology following the win.
“My intent in going in the direction of Julio was to get his consideration as a part of the pleasant ongoing banter that now we have had through the years,” he mentioned. “I acknowledge that final evening I mustn’t have gone in the direction of him like I did. I didn’t imply to disrespect him, his household or the Mariners. I do perceive how my actions may very well be interpreted that method.”
Infielder Eugenio Suarez was one of many first gamers to return out and allege that Neris used a homophobic slur in spanish in the direction of Rodriguez, each of whom are from the Dominican Republic.
“From the start, I assumed it was a joke, as a result of earlier than right now they (had) a extremely good relationship,” Suarez mentioned. “After which he began speaking dangerous phrases in Spanish. He began doing one thing that isn’t good for individuals who converse Spanish and perceive. I used to be within the on-deck circle and I heard that. That pissed me off.”
One Mariners’ spokesperson later instructed reporters that Rodriguez was “shocked” by the incident.
The reigning AL Rookie of the Yr has refused to reveal what Neris said and would not plan on forgiving the 34-year-old reliever anytime quickly. The pair beforehand had an excellent relationship as they labored out collectively in the course of the pandemic.
“That is anyone that I had quite a lot of respect for,” Rodriguez mentioned. “I simply really feel I deserve a bit of bit extra respect than that.”
If it is confirmed that Neris did say a homophobic slur, there’s a little bit of precedent with how MLB handles a majority of these conditions.
In 2017, the league suspended then-Blue Jays participant Kevin Pillar for 2 video games on account of the usage of homophobic language.