by Ryan Meehan
Just when you thought you’d heard it all, when it came to the Ryan Braun suspension, a news story came across the wire about a 37 year old Wisconsin woman who was asked to leave Miller Park after she was seen wearing a Brewers jersey that violated the Park’s “code of conduct” policy. The jersey was that of the aforementioned slugger, but the woman taped an “F” and a “D” over the “B” and “N” in Braun’s name so that it spelled out “FRAUD”. The woman cooperated with authorities and agreed to turn her shirt inside out so that she could enjoy the rest of the game, but it surprises me a little bit that nobody’s really called out the Brewers for this.
That’s what we’re here for…I couldn’t imagine that we’d let them get away with this one. So let’s recap: A baseball franchise that stood by their man when he tested positive for a banned substance (even though he ended up only having his suspension overturned because of a procedural error) attempted to throw out one of their fans because she was wearing clothing with offensive content on it. They likely did this for one of many reasons, you can take your pick. But before you do, let’s ask ourselves one question here:
Ryan Braun plans to return to the team when his suspension is over, right?
Of course he does. That’s why this is hypocritical – it’s not like the team plans to distance themselves from Braun once the suspension is over. If they were doing that, then it would still be confusing but I would understand it more. But at this point, the Milwaukee Brewers should be doing absolutely everything to avoid turning their fans off to coming to the ballpark. They have to sell tickets just like every other team, and let’s not kid ourselves those ticket sales are not currently going well.
Now, I realize that there are certain people in this world who have procreated who might be wondering “Well, what if somebody’s kid sees that? How do you explain it to a kid?”. Whether we want to believe it or not, that horseshit idea is behind the command that caused an individual in that organization to remove that jersey or be ejected. That very shallow (and tired) angle can be debunked many different ways. First off, yeah right. From a distance the alterations on this jersey would be hardly noticeable to the average six year old. Second, don’t you think if the kid is there he’s already noticed that the most popular player is just fucking completely nowhere to be found? Shit…if that kid is six years old, he’s probably already got two separate Twitter accounts, a Facebook, an Instagram and a website that gets better interviews than I do. This woman wasn’t “threatening the purity” of our youth by wearing this shirt, she was making a statement that a lot of people in the sports media agreed with.I know it’s not a popular take, but personally I don’t care if a majority of these guys are on PEDs. I wish from the beginning Bud Selig (who used to own what team again? Thanks…) and all of the higher ups at Major League Baseball would have been honest from the beginning regarding how all of this stuff was being used, because then it would have at least scared the living shit out of the players and might have prevented a guy like Braun from doing this. Twice. The park official who had to make the decision to confront this woman works for an organization which clearly knew they had a player who was using PEDs, and is getting mad because someone is wearing a shirt that questioned the issue at hand.
Which leads me to my next point: The Milwaukee Brewers DID know that Braun was using steroids. They had to have known, because that’s almost the definition of what it means to get off on a technicality. (unless of course, you frequently masturbate in your county courtroom) Getting upset for someone who is making a social comment on the situation (especially someone who purchased a ticket) is totally hypocritical and confusing from a business standpoint. The NFL never seemed to have a problem with all of the Lions fans wearing bags over their heads with all sorts of mean sayings on them when they were struggling to pinch a 3-13 loaf out of a season. Hell, I’ve been to Soldier Field before where there are tons of people wearing T-shirts that say “Fuck Detroit” and “Fuck Green Bay” all over the place.
I would think that if anything, Miller Park would support such tame criticism of their product. It would be an excellent way for some people to blow off steam contructively until Braun comes back to play. But by singling out this woman for making a statement, now they just look like whiners trying to do damage control in a situation that they should have been doing a lot more to prevent. Nothing on this woman’s shirt was profane or insulting – She was pointing out something that we all knew about or thought at some point, and I thought she did it in a very creative way as I’m a fan of wordplay.
Regardless of what you think about steroids, when it comes to hypocrisy Major League Baseball blows away the competition. The product that has been sold a million times over to everyone since the “Bash Brothers” era is full of all sorts of clear liquids all of the while preaching that such clear liquid are the devil. That type of hypocrisy is now accepted and commonplace in baseball cities all across America. But singling this woman out was just low and petty, and they could have easily done without it. Like I said, a little bit of good natured ribbing is exactly what they need up there. They certainly aren’t going to be playing in October.