Harper was standing in right field during the eighth inning when the crowd got to him. He pointed his right thumb toward the back of his jersey. He waved off the Nationals fans’ words like mosquitoes. He declined to reveal afterward what was said, but he said it crossed a line.
“They were fine all game, talking about myself and things like that,” Harper said. “I get it everywhere I go. That’s nothing new. But the last two innings, it’s just not right. It’s not right.”
On Thursday morning, tweets from Harper’s wife, Kayla, indicated the fan had yelled about the couple’s newborn, Krew.
“When you bring his son or family into it, yes you’re crossing a line,” Kayla Harper tweeted. “Stick to your overused overrated and Harper sucks chants if you’re really that loser that goes to a game to heckle someone. Phillies fans might boo him but they don’t bring his 4 week old son into it. Classless."
When you bring his son or family into it, yes you’re crossing a line. Stick to your overused overrated and Harper sucks chants if you’re really that loser that goes to a game to heckle someone. Phillies fans might boo him but they don’t bring his 4 week old son into it. Classless https://t.co/NVj3ixyrPY— Kayla Harper (@kayyharper8) September 26, 2019
She also said things like this have been happening all season and alleged Nationals fans have direct messaged to wish her son would be autistic when born. Bryce Harper said he wasn’t surprised by the vitriol from Nationals fans, but he chalked it up to how things are “nowadays.”
“Like I said the whole time, I’ve got 60,000 fans up in Philly that appreciate [me] as a player, appreciate me as an individual and my family as well,” he said. “I owe a lot to those people up there in Philly because they show up for me every single night and they’re there to cheer us on and boo us and keep us going as a team and as individuals as well. I’m looking forward to the next 12 years. Can’t wait.”
When asked whether there always will be a heightened atmosphere playing in the District, Harper demurred. He said things always have been this way, crowds always have picked on him, while maintaining, “I just want to play.”
“Of course, there’s been times I haven’t ran out baseballs or things like that, slacked and things, but that’s part of it,” he said. “Every single night, I come out here. My team deserves that. My city, Philadelphia, deserves that.”
Harper understood that heckling is part of sports, and he said he doesn’t usually listen, but he saw this as a microcosm of a larger issue.
“Everybody has a platform now — Twitter, Instagram, in the stands, things like that,” he said. “They can kind of say whatever they want, and that’s just how it is. You just have to live with it.”
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