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Loria-protesting Marlins fans kicked out of Marlins Park

Apr 9, 2013, 9:28 AM EDT

Jeffrey Loria, Julie Loria

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)

  1. Chris - Apr 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Jeff can go eff himself

  2. opshuns - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Ever been stuck behind some guy with a sign at a ballgame??? NO signs for any games that block fans’ view…

    • The Mayor - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      this was at a Marlins game. There actually needs to be people there in order for the signs to block someone else’s view.

  3. 950003cups - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    So 6 fans had signs, got booted, and the other half of the crowd got to stay?

  4. rcali - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    So do we even want to know what Hitler…errrrr…Loria does when local fans come to the game to support their out of town team? Hey Bud, nice owner.

  5. tackledummy1505 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    I guess wearing a paper bag with cut out eye holes over your head will land you a night in jail for being a public disturbance. Here’s hoping you wore a paper bag over your head while you got your license picture taken or else they’ll get you for falsifying your identity as well. These stories from the worst owner in the U.S. just keep getting better. Sounds like Loria is just a rich guy who gets off from feeling like he owns an actual human being.

  6. sawxalicious - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    I have a little experience with ID’ing people as I am in law enforcement. I would imagine the Marlins’ ballpark would be considered private property (even though we all know the public has funded it). The Marlins probably have a written contract with local police allowing the police to act as the Marlins representatives when it comes to trespassing, criminal activity, etc. If that is the case, the police can ask for ID, no problem. The people don’t necessarily have to provide any unless they are involved in criminal activity. If the police ( or management) decide they want the folks banned from coming back, that changes things. Then the folks do have to identify themselves so police can document they are no longer welcome at the the ball park. If they are asked to leave ( which is pig-headed, but management’s right), and are not banned or otherwise engaged in criminal activity, I would not see the need to compel identification. Keep in mind the catch-all charge of disorderly conduct ( conduct that alarms and disturbs another) is always a wild card and would depend on the specific behavior of the folks.

    That being said, my guess is a Marlins rep asked the police to speak with the protesters and/or have them removed. Generally, law enforcement enjoys protecting first amendment rights and doesn’t try to get involved as an actor in these situations. Unfortunately for the folks, first amendment rights are not as broad when one is exercising them on private property. My best guess, therefore, is the police were simply the messenger and the Marlins don’t want any egg on their face. Real easy to say “the cops did it, we really didn’t want them kicked out.” Which might be believable, given that the folks probably made up 1/2 of the gate that day.

    Sorry you gotta go through this, Gator….

    • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:46 AM

      Thanks sawx. It was a dream come true to have MLB establish itself here…and then to wind up with this grubby, groping, primping piece of cheapskate garbage as the local franchise owner was a bit much. At this point, none of this stuff surprises us anymore, though.

      Then again, if we want to enjoy ourselves of a halcyon subtropical evening but don’t want to go to the stadium and line the bastard’s pockets, there’s always popping beached jellyfish with pointed sticks….

  7. skids003 - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Hey, you don’t have to show ID to vote, why should you have to show it just because they cops want to see it?

  8. zurnvs - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Skids, did u not just read what sawx just wrote. He is dead on right.

  9. iamjimmyjack - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Loria owns bud selig.

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