A 5-year-old boy has been subjected to internet backlash after he was set-up to kick a major league baseball player during a recent game.
Leo, an avid Cincinnati Reds fan, was attending a game at Great American Ball Park when he was selected from the stands to pull a minor prank.
Leo was taken down to the field where he met Miami Marlins second baseman, Dee Gordon.
Gordon squatted down to talk to the boy and Leo kicked him in the shin, after he was told to do so by an umpire.
But social media, apparently unaware the kick was an innocent prank, blew up.
The insults and snipes have gotten so bad that Leo’s mother appealed to Gordon on Facebook to explain the situation.
“Maybe a public statement/post by you and the umpire explaining how it was a just a playful game between you two and Leo so the cruel world understands what really happened,” her statement read.
Dee Gordon is now going public about the misunderstanding.
“… The umpire walks over and he’s like, ‘You didn't do what I told you to do.’ [Leo’s] like, ‘I don't want to do it.’”
“I said, 'Well, he's the umpire, you kinda got to listen to him. So go ahead and do it, I’ll be all right.' He did it and I acted as if it hurt. That was it!”
He added: “Leo! We’re friends for life. I'll see you next year.”