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Philadelphia Freedom: Gritty Cleared Of Wrongdoing

Philadelphia Freedom: Gritty Cleared Of Wrongdoing

Gritty, the fun and odd mascot representative of the Philadelphia Flyers was accused of being a little too overzealous during a game between his team and the Florida Panthers on November 19 of last year, allegedly punching and injuring a young boy who wanted to get up close to the mascot.  However, after an investigation, local police have determined that his actions were not severe enough to warrant charges of physical assault.  Gritty can walk away a free… orange thing.

All The Gritty Details In Philadelphia

According to the way the story was told by the boy’s father, season-ticket holder Chris Greenwell, Brandon Greenwell had “playfully patted” Gritty on his head after a photo op.  As the 13-year-old walked away, Gritty reportedly “took a running start” and then punched the boy “as hard as he could,” leaving him with a bruised back.

The Philadelphia team, as well as Gritty, denied any wrongdoing had taken place; however, Flyers executives still performed their due diligence and looked into the matter.  The team released a statement when the incident first came to light, asserting, “We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim.”


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When the news of the alleged attack surfaced in January, Greenwald asserted that he hadn’t hired a lawyer “yet” and only wanted an apology from the team, as well as something “special” for his son.  The Flyers reportedly offered to give the boy access to the locker room to meet the team, as well as some other perks, but the peace offering apparently didn’t do its job.

Philly Police Statement

Philly police also did their due diligence, taking a closer look at what may, or may not, have transpired.  It released a statement today that reads, “That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers’ mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged.”

The team can now, hopefully, put the drama in the rearview mirror and drive forward without much more said on the subject.  It thanked the police for their efforts and said, “We are pleased that the Philadelphia Police Department concluded there was no merit to the alleged claim. The police department’s statement confirms our thorough internal investigation that found no evidence of the described actions ever having taken place.”

It’s good news for Gritty, who was only released into the team in 2018.  Whether or not any civil suit is forthcoming isn’t yet clear, but Greenwell said in a statement after the police brought its investigation to a close, “I respect the police’s decision, but I stand by what my son told me and what I saw, and I just want to put this behind me.  Any parent would have done the same if they were in the same situation.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which first reported the incident, the alleged assault and subsequent investigation into Gritty led to a social media outpouring of memes and all kinds of attention – it even made The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.  Support has mostly been positive, with some Netizens even saying that being hit by Gritty would be an honor and should be seen like a badge of courage.

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Things can now return to normal for Gritty in Philadephia, whatever normal is for a scrappy orange alien/animal/who-knows-what.  It isn’t like he has necessarily kept a low profile since the incident occurred, appearing at many games and events for his favorite team.  He was even at NHL All-Star Weekend last month in St. Louis and was on the ice during the Mascot Showdown.  It isn’t clear if he employed the same tactics as he was reported to have done against Brandon Greenwell.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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