Report of racial slurs toward Heyward unconfirmed

Game audio reviewed from Cubs-Cardinals series opener

April 20th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Jason Heyward heard the boos at Busch Stadium, but if someone was yelling racial slurs at him Monday night, the Cubs outfielder didn't hear them.

The New York Daily News, citing four messages on Twitter, claimed Monday's Cubs vs. Cardinals game was marred by racial comments directed at Heyward, who was playing his first game at Busch Stadium since leaving the Cardinals to sign with the Cubs. ESPN reviewed the audio from the game and also did not hear anything. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the team's public relations staff had been reviewing the various feeds and found nothing.

Heyward said he "honestly wasn't really listening" to the fans Monday night.

"Have I heard [racial slurs] before? Yes," Heyward said Tuesday. "But it's not something you pay a whole lot of attention to. You just play the game.

"It's not part of the game on the field. I don't concern myself with what's going on off the field. People are yelling loud and you're going to hear whatever. Last night I definitely didn't hear it. It was a blur.

"I honestly didn't hear specifically really anything. ... Obviously, the majority was boos."

Heyward has been the subject of fans' displeasure before, including in St. Louis last year when he got off to a slow start.

"Fans will let you know when they're not happy," he said. "That's anywhere."

Matheny was not pleased with the New York Daily News story.

"It's just an awful thing to be said. Whether it happened or not, it's a shame," Matheny said. "But right now it doesn't seem like there's anything backing the fact that it actually did happen."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Heyward didn't say anything to him during Monday's game.

"I'm certain that if it did occur, the people around those people [who said it] are not very happy, either," Maddon said. "I did not hear anything specifically other than rumor."