An ugly fight in the Wrigley Field bleachers in which a fan hurled racial slurs unfolded after Hispanic Heritage Night at the Cubs game on Monday night, according to videos shared on social media by a fan who witnessed the brawl.
The incident began following the Cubs’ 5-1 loss to the Pirates. The game featured specially priced tickets, which included t-shirts saying “Los Cubs.”
Danny Rockett — who hosts a Cubs podcast called The Son Ranto Show — began videotaping as at least a half-dozen people got involved in a melee while others tried to pull them away from each other. The scene unfolds in the left-field bleachers in a largely empty stadium; organ music can be heard in the background.
Two men separate from the larger group and exchange punches. “He hit me in the face,” one man yells. A woman can be heard screaming, “Stop it! Stop it!” Smaller arguments start and stop.
Cubs security guards, wearing red shirts, can be seen trying to separate the groups and eventually breaking things up.
Another fan appears and yells multiple times, “There’s no fighting in the bleachers!” — but the scuffles continue.
After about 1 1/2 minutes, a man can be heard yelling f-bombs and what sounds like a racial slur for hispanics as a woman tries to pull him away. A man says, “Here we go again” — and another fight breaks out.
Rockett’s tweet including that video was viewed nearly a million times as of Tuesday night.
In a second video posted by Rockett, the same man from the first video can be more clearly heard yelling slurs at other fans.
“You threw the first punch,” he yells. “You threw the first punch! You threw the first punch.” He then cups his hands around his mouth and hurls two racial slurs for hispanics.
(Warning: Video contains strong language.)
The man who used the slur immediately saw Rockett videotaping and says, “Don’t record me!” and comes toward him. Security can be seen pressuring Rockett to put his phone away: “You’re on private property. You don’t have permission to videotape anyone.” The video then ends.
The second video had been viewed more than 200,000 times as of Tuesday night.
When asked on Twitter what started the fight, Rockett responded with one word: “Racism.” However, after being contacted by the Sun-Times, Rockett said, “I really don’t know. Probably just drunks going back and forth. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary really until it was a melee.”
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said all parties involved were removed from Wrigley after the fight, which began about 15 minutes after the game ended. They were interviewed by security outside. While “there was some bantering back and forth during the game, no one was forthcoming about who started it,” Green said, and no one wanted to press charges. No one suffered any serious injuries.
“We don’t know the nature of what caused the fight, but both parties were escorted out,” Green said.
He said the Cubs “have zero tolerance against fighting and insensitive language and behavior. … Both parties were informed by police and security that they are not welcomed back to the stadium for 2018.”
He denied a claim made by a woman in the video in which she accused security of taking the “white people’s side,” saying everyone involved was removed.
Green did say the security guard was “incorrect” about fans filming — there’s no policy against recording video at Wrigley.
“People film every time they come to games,” he said. “We will brief our staff about that.”
Chicago police said no additional officers were dispatched for a fight at Wrigley Field around that time and no arrests were made.
From Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, social media was deluged with theories as to the identity of the man seen and heard shouting the slurs. The predominant theory was that he is a member of the Indiana National Guard.
The Indiana National Guard did not confirm that he was enlisted, but said it was investigating.
The branch issued a statement Wednesday saying, in part, “The statements made by this individual are not in keeping with the Army Values, and they do not reflect the views or beliefs of the United States Armed Forces, and specifically, the Indiana National Guard. We take these types of situations very seriously, and the conduct of this individual is unbecoming of a service member.”
Contributing: Mitchell Armentrout