In a moment that reportedly ended up costing a person portraying Mr. Met his job — but effectively summed up his team’s disappointing start — the Mets’ mascot gave the finger to some fans at Citi Field on Wednesday. The incident was caught on video and quickly went viral, resulting in an apology from the 23-28 team.
“We apologize for the inappropriate action of this employee,” the Mets said in a statement. “We do not condone this type of behavior. We are dealing with this matter internally.”
From a report by the AP:
A Mets official told The Associated Press more than one person wears the Mr. Met costume during each season, and the person who donned it Wednesday night will not do so again. The Mets official spoke on condition of anonymity because the statement from the organization was the team’s only authorized comment.
The incident occurred during a 7-1 home loss the Brewers, the latest setback for an injury-plagued team that began the season with World Series aspirations. A fan named Anthony De Lucia filmed the moment and uploaded it to his Twitter account (warning: obscene gesture).
De Lucia said that he and his friends “didn’t even say a word” and were “just reaching over for a high five” from Mr. Met. The mascot’s image was introduced during the team’s inaugural season in 1962, and in 1964, he became the first in MLB to take live-action form.
According to the team’s website, Mr. Met “leads all active Major League mascots in high fours,” referring to the number of digits on each cartoonishly oversized hand. That led some online to note that, technically, Mr. Met isn’t capable of giving someone the middle-finger salute.
How can Mr. Met get in trouble for giving someone the middle finger IF HE DOESN'T HAVE ONE pic.twitter.com/0QZd2GxQyz
— Hector Diaz (@iamHectorDiaz) June 1, 2017
Loopholes aside, the incident Wednesday is the latest embarrassment for the Mets, who have had to deal with numerous off-field issues this season, in addition to injuries to core players such as Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Jeurys Familia. Earlier this month, Matt Harvey was suspended three games for failing to show up at Citi Field after going on a bender the night before, reportedly because he was distraught over photos of his presumed girlfriend, model Adriana Lima, out on the town with a former flame, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Before that, the Mets had to delete a tweet they sent that showed a sex toy in the locker of a player, and Familia began the season with a 15-game suspension for a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy. Suffice it to say, the team cannot promote Tim Tebow to the big leagues soon enough.
Elsewhere on the Mets’ website, they say that while Mr. Met long since lost his voice “root, root, rooting for the home team,” he “can gesture in 12 different languages.” Apparently, the team was unwilling to pardon his gestural French.