Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/13/12

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie reliever Jared Hughes gained the nickname of "The Mayor" during his climb through the farm system because of his ability to make friends with seemingly everybody with his friendly and outgoing nature.

Now Hughes' integrity is being brought in question, including the idea that he is racist, because of an incident that occurred in Pirates' 4-3 loss to the Reds on Monday night in 14 innings at Cincinnati. Phillips, who is black, claimed Hughes, who is white, made a racial remark after hitting him with a pitch in the eighth inning.

The two had apparently settled their differences in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. However, Phillips then went on TV later Tuesday and said Hughes "said what he said" and that is was the first time he had ever heard a player make a racial remark.

When pressed to confirm Hughes made a racial remark, Phillips said, "He did. That's what we talked about. If you want to know what he said, you should ask him."

Hughes is so upset by the matter that he has declined to speak directly with the media for fear of becoming too emotional.

However, Hughes did issue a statement through the Pirates' media relations department that read: "In response to Brandon Phillips' TV interview yesterday, prior to the game, I feel compelled to once again make it perfectly clear that I did not make any comment with a racial undertone or connotation during our exchange on Monday night, period. While I cannot repeat everything that I said because I did swear, it is obvious when reviewing the tape that I in no way, shape or form made any remark that was in any way connected to race. It is not how I was raised and not who I am as a person."

A source who was on the field during the time of the incident told The Sports Xchange Tuesday that Hughes used two expletives when he yelled at Phillips but neither was of a racial nature. Hughes was upset that Phillips flipped the ball back to the mound after being hit rather than throwing it toward the dugout, which is the normal protocol.

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