Some fans showed up to last night’s Marlins-Braves game wearing anti-Jeff Loria t-shirts and carrying anti-Jeff Loria signs. Neither the signs nor the t-shirts said anything profane or offensive on them. The fans were stopped by some reporters and, for five minutes or so, gave interviews. A few minutes later — before they even got to their seats, they claim — they were kicked out of the park by the police.
The police said that “they want you to leave,” with the “they” appearing to be the Marlins. The Marlins, however, are saying that (a) the fans were creating a disturbance; and (b) were kicked out because they didn’t comply with police requests to show I.D. Here’s team president David Samson’s comment to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:
“We got information from the police that they’d run into a couple of fans who were walking around holding signs that were fine. That was not the issue. They were drawing some attention to themselves. Making some noise later in the game, which is not uncommon,’’ Samson said.
“As per standard operating procedure, the police go up, try to tell them to calm down and they did not. Then the police said, ‘Show me ID’ and they did not. And that was it. You have to show ID when asked. So they were ejected.”
If they didn’t make it to their seats, as the ejected fans claim, it’s hard to see how they were acting poorly “later in the game.” And if it’s really a police matter, why did the cops tell the fans that the team wanted them gone?
Maybe this is some he-said, she-said, and the fans truly were being disruptive. But it sure as hell sounds to me that the Marlins simply didn’t like the fact that someone was criticizing them in their own (tax payer-funded) house.
(thanks to Bill Lawrence for the heads up)