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Upton happy that Rays had his back Sunday after incident with fan

21

March

Centerfielder B.J. Upton said it was “comforting” to see the Rays have his back Sunday when manager Joe Maddon summoned security to remove a fan – wearing an Orioles jersey – who he said was yelling racist comments at him in the dugout.

Upton had struck out in the sixth inning and headed to the dugout when he heard the comment. Several teammates came to Upton's defense, going to the top step. Upton declined to reveal what the comment was, but said he shrugged off the unfortunate incident.

“I was too busy worrying about the slider I swung and missed at out of the zone,” Upton said. “I heard what he said, but I wasn’t really worried about it. For me to turn around and see all those guys on the top step defending me, it’s pretty cool.”

Upton said he hears racist comments from fans in the stands “all the time.”

“I hear things like that in the outfield, in some places,” Upton said. “But I think yesterday was just an instance where more than one person got to hear it, not just me.”

As reported in Monday's Times, a man who said he was the ejected fan went on Twitter later Sunday, claiming Maddon lied and he said nothing racial. But Maddon told the Times what was said, and it could be considered racial. The fan also emailed the Times, saying Maddon misunderstood the comments.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 12:15am]

    

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