Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty has been vindicated.
According to a report on Monday morning from Action News, Gritty, arguably the National Hockey League' most popular and most recognizable mascot, was cleared of all wrongdoing by a police investigation into an incident that took place in December of 2019. Gritty, a giant fuzzy orange thing, was accused by a man identified as Chris Greenwell of assaulting his 13 year old son during a photoshoot. According to comments made by Greenwell to Action News the incident occurred after his young son tapped Gritty on the head, prompting the Flyers mascot to lungo out of his chair and punch the 13 year old in the back. In fact according to Greenwell Gritty hit his young son so hard that the boy required medical attention after the incident occurred.
Well on Monday an investigation carried out by the South Detective Division of the Philadelphia police concluded that Gritty did not physically assault a teen during the photo session last year and additionally declared that charges would not be pursued in this matter moving forward. Effectively the move cleared Gritty on any wrongdoing, something that many fans had always suspected was going to be the outcome of this one. Officials say that Gritty simply did not commit the assault that was alleged in this case, a declaration that of course now brings into question all kinds of things about the aforementioned Chris Greenwell.
Gritty has quickly become one of the most popular mascots in the entire NHL since his controversial introduction, thanks in large part to some frankly terrific marketing efforts on the part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization. He has become so popular in fact that he is often now a fixture at major NHL events and it is for that reason that many doubted the credibility of this story. Although clearly there is a man under the costume, it is a man that has had thousands upon thousands of interactions with NHL fans and never prior to this incident. Never has anything of this nature been alleged against the mascot before, and given the degree of the accusations of this case it seemed extremely out of character.