Says gesture wasn't racially motivated, just out of frustration
A San Francisco Giants fan stepped forward on Monday, claiming responsibility for tossing a banana on the field Sunday and drawing the ire of Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.
The fan — identified by the San Jose Mercury News as Alexander Poulides — says the incident wasn't racially motivated as most, including Big League Stew, interpreted. Tossing bananas at black players isn't something we see often in America, but it's a well-known sign of racism at European soccer matches.
But Poulides tells the Merc's Daniel Brown it was a frustrated toss by a frustrated Giants fan upset by a season that gets more frustrating by the game for the defending world champs. According to the story, Poulides discovered on Monday morning that his banana toss had become a big deal and "his heart sank."
"Oh, my god,'' Poulides said. "I threw a banana on my way out."
Poulides, 42, said he grabbed a banana off a catering cart and hurled it toward the field in disgust at the Giants near the end of a 10-2 loss at AT&T Park on Sunday. The banana apparently sailed toward Jones, who tweeted about the incident after the game ...
Above all, Poulides stressed repeatedly that the incident was not a racially motivated, as some had speculated. He was upset at the Giants, not Jones.
"I'm embarrassed and shocked by the outcome,'' the Northern California resident said. "In hindsight, I wish I didn't do it and I apologize. I'm very sorry."
The Giants also issued an apology saying the team had a "a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior." It had not, at the time, identified the fan in question.
The whole story sounds like something of the Larry David universe: Guy gets upset at favorite baseball team. Guy tosses nearest fruit onto the field as he storms out of the stadium. Guy learns the next day he's been pegged as a racist. Can't you just see an exasperated George Costanza explaining the story of how he became an accidental racist? (We're not talking about you, Brad Paisley)
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