Earlier this week an anonymous man went viral when he picked up a ball a Chicago Cubs player had thrown to a young fan and refused to give it back to the young boy.
The internet had a field day with the video, with people from all over the country outraged at the man’s actions, but not knowing the real story behind the incident.
Meanwhile, major news outlets even took shots at the man.
USA Today called the man “senselessly inconsiderate” describing the scene as:
“When first base coach Will Venable tossed a baseball to a young fan seated in the first row, the ball got away and bounced beneath the seat. That was when a middle-aged man in the second row grabbed the baseball and gleefully handed it to the woman next to him. They all had a laugh at the kid’s expense. It was senselessly inconsiderate.”
A YouTube channel shared the video, titling it “Terrible Grown Man Steals Foul Ball From Little Kid at Cubs Game,” which has garnered over 200,000 watches.
One Twitter user even tweeted a “You need Jesus” meme referring to the man in the video.
— Efra19 (かぞく) ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 (@89Efraa) July 22, 2018
After the internet had gone after the anonymous man, WBBM-TV reported that the event was taken out of context, and the man is actually an upstanding guy.
Chuck Mycoff told WBBM’s Roseanne Tellez that the man is now afraid to leave his hotel room, due to the backlash and false accusations that arose after the video went viral.
“He had already helped that kid get a ball. TV got this all wrong,” Mycoff tweeted on Monday.
He had already helped that kid get a ball. He gave two more away to kids also. He was a great guy. TV got this all wrong.
— Chuck Mycoff (@cmycoff2) July 22, 2018
“He thanked me for stepping up and getting out front for him,” Mycoff told WBBM. “He’s still a little bit afraid. He was absolutely overwhelmed.”
Mycoff added, “I just kept seeing all these things and I’m going ‘boy that’s crazy.’ In fact, I’m still seeing them.”
The Chicago Cubs have also taken a stand in defense of the man.
“The family was deeply dismayed to hear about the terrible accusations,” the team said in a statement. “A video has made a national villain out of an innocent man.”