FanDuel - WFBC

May 29, 2009

Texas Rangers Don't Allow Fan's 'Yankees Suck' Shirt : A Texas Rangers fan was told that her "Yankees Suck" T-shirt was offensive and would have to be worn inside out if she wanted to remain at Tuesday's game. "That particular phrase is one we've received a lot of complaints about," said Rangers spokesman John Blake. Kristen Knapp-Webb and her husband left the game rather than abide by the rule.

posted by rcade to baseball at 12:25 PM - 26 comments

That sucks!

posted by BornIcon at 12:30 PM on May 29

I don't think this is anything new. Yankee Stadium has had a ban on "Boston Sucks" shirts for years. I believe Fenway has a similar policy.

posted by goddam at 01:28 PM on May 29

That phrase is in the dictionary.

posted by smithnyiu at 01:46 PM on May 29

I'd be curious as to how the Rangers would handle the following.

So, if someone wore a shirt emblazoned with "God Bless the U.S.A." and I approached an usher, and complained that I was offended by the saying on the shirt, as I am an atheist, they'd be dealt with in the same manner?

Somehow I don't think so.

posted by tommytrump at 02:11 PM on May 29

So, if someone wore a shirt emblazoned with "God Bless the U.S.A." and I approached an usher, and complained that I was offended by the saying on the shirt, as I am an atheist, they'd be dealt with in the same manner?

Tommy, I believe that you would be invited to a Texas Style private BBQ where beef wouldn't be the only thing that's what's fer dinner.

Now what would happen if I happened to go to a Mariners' game with a "Mariners Suck" T-shirt? How could they throw me out if the saying is actually true?

posted by THX-1138 at 02:44 PM on May 29

"I understand it's private property," Knapp-Webb said. "But they can't not offend every person who walks in that door. It's not possible."

No, but you're wearing a shirt that's going to be offensive to what I would think would be a fair number of folks in the crowd. Seeing as it's private property, they can tell you to change or beat it.

Personally, when I see someone wearing a variation of that shirt, I think management should give them another t-shirt that reads "ATTENTION WHORE".

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:04 PM on May 29

Are there really people left who take genuine offense at the word "sucks"?

posted by rcade at 03:22 PM on May 29

Hey I don't take my kids to MLB or NFL games because of the atmosphere. No I am not an Old Fuddy-Duddy!

posted by Landis at 05:48 PM on May 29

The difference between wearing a "God Bless The U.S.A." shirt to a baseball game and a "[insert team name here] sucks" shirt to a baseball game is that the former isn't likely to start trouble with drunken fans of [insert team name here].

Beer + Fandom + "Your Team Sucks" Shirts = Potential for Shenanigans.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:49 PM on May 29

Joey hit the nail on the head. I once saw a fight at a football game because of a Cowboys Suck shirt.

posted by DudeDykstra at 05:59 PM on May 29

I'm not one of them, and I don't really see the harm in the t-shirt. However, I can also understand the Ranger organization thinking they have to draw the line somewhere, and "suck" is a fine place to start. If you don't, you end up with this.

And for me, it's not the "Yankees suck" that bothers me so much as the understood (dick) that is behind it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:03 PM on May 29

The difference between wearing a "God Bless The U.S.A." shirt to a baseball game and a "[insert team name here] sucks" shirt to a baseball game is that the former isn't likely to start trouble with drunken fans of [insert team name here].

Irrelevant.

From the article: The Rangers' Code of Conduct states,

"Any person wearing clothing with language that may be offensive to another guest may be denied entry into the stadium, or ejected from the stadium without refund."

The language doesn't have to start trouble (a physical or verbal confrontation), it only has to be offensive, and "God Bless the [insert name of country here]" has the potential to be offensive to both atheists and citizens of countries not so blessed by God.

posted by tommytrump at 06:04 PM on May 29

While that is the written policy, I believe its pretty clear the intent of that sort of rule is to prevent folks from wearing things that are going to be likely to cause unrest.

A "God Bless America" shirt is pretty unlikely to cause unrest.

A "You Team Sucks" shirt has a much greater chance of causing unrest.

I imagine that if the stadium asked a fan to turn a "God Bless America" shirt inside out, they'd incur the wrath of every talk radio host and political pundit in the country - something that probably outweighs their concern that certain atheist and America hatin' baseball fans might be offended.

In other words, covering up a "Your Team Sucks" shirt is potentially going to prevent a beer soaked brawl. Covering up a "Yay America is God's Country" shirt is potentially going to cause a PR nightmare.

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:45 PM on May 29

A "You Team Sucks" shirt has a much greater chance of causing unrest.

The rule, however, doesn't say anything about causing unrest. The rule is that if it "may be offensive to another guest" it's not welcome. Personally, I get offended by children walking around in t-shirts proclaiming that Jesus died for my sins. P.R. nightmare or not, I'd like them to be enforced the same as someone who's shirt says X sucks. Fix the wording of the rule or get rid of it.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:36 AM on May 30

The discretion used does seem pretty loose here. What does it take? One angry fan? One-hundred? One irritated security guard? There's just too many ways to interpret the rule. I've seen dozens of vulgar and/or offensive t-shirts and "Yankees suck" seems fairly tame in comparison. I, too do not appreciate t-shirts proclaiming religious views and sometimes could find them just as offensive as the above example.

I wish it were that people would consider what they wear as a statement of not only how they feel but as to who they are, and maybe most don't care what I think about that, but usually, if you were a t-shirt that can offend, that was your intention in the first place.

On the flip side, I'd rather see the drunk, unruly fan get tossed before the bearer of the questionable t-shirt.

posted by BoKnows at 12:57 AM on May 30

Fix the wording of the rule or get rid of it.

I am coming to believe that there's no genuinely decent way to word rules. Most rules exist to address a problem. So, maybe there genuinely is a problem with folks wearing offensive shirts to Rangers games. The problem is that rules can be interpreted differently by different people.

Let's look at this one:

"Any person wearing clothing with language that may be offensive to another guest may be denied entry into the stadium, or ejected from the stadium without refund."

As the security guard, its my job to make a judgment call on what may be offensive to another guest. Odds are pretty good that I'm either going to base this on what I find offensive, or what I think somebody else might find offensive. There probably isn't some master list detailing what is and what is not offensive. Basically, the "may be offensive" part of this rule is a problem.

Then there's the "may be denied" part. They may also not be denied entry into the stadium. That's also a judgment call on the part of the guard. If I see somebody with a shirt with offensive language and think that its not that big a deal, or feel that stopping that person is going to hold up the line, or whatever, I may choose to let them in anyways.

Really, there isn't a way to phrase this that is more specific and can still be placed on a little sign about the box office. While the phrasing of the rule is vague, it is deliberately vague to keep it short and clear. It puts a lot of power into the hands of security, but, in theory, most of them have a pretty good job of what language "may be" most likely to cause unrest.

Generally speaking, an angry atheist isn't going to kick the ass of a Christian for a pro-God t-shirt. On the other hand, certain types of angry sports fans are likely to kick the ass of somebody who hates their team.

Security guard judgment call.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:09 AM on May 30

Yankee Stadium has had a ban on "Boston Sucks" shirts for years. I believe Fenway has a similar policy.

Are you sure? I haven't been to Fenway in decades, but they're sold all over Boston. Honestly, I doubt there's a ban at Yankee Stadium because no one cares about that crap here.

Incidentally, there's an unbelievably fascinating piece in This American Life that talks about the two guys who came up with that shirt and what happened when they decided to go to Iraq.

posted by MKUltra at 09:50 AM on May 30

Are you sure? I haven't been to Fenway in decades, but they're sold all over Boston. Honestly, I doubt there's a ban at Yankee Stadium because no one cares about that crap here.

About Yankee Stadium? Yeah, I am sure. Since the late 90s I've seen people turned away at the gates for wearing Boston Sucks shirts. They either had to put another shirt on over it or turn it inside out. However, if you manage to get past security with it you probably won't have a problem inside.

As for Fenway, like I said, I thought they had a similar policy. I seem to remember a similar thread floating around a year or 2 ago.

posted by goddam at 12:54 PM on May 30

One, has anyone read the entire Ranger's code of Conduct? I haven't, but I'll guess that there are numerous clauses that state something to the effect that the Ranger's reserve the right to interpet, and apply, the rules as they see fit.

It's their stadium, and they clearly have the right to ban yellow shirts if they feel so inclined.

posted by dviking at 12:59 PM on May 30

One, has anyone read the entire Ranger's code of Conduct? I haven't, but I'll guess that there are numerous clauses that state something to the effect that the Ranger's reserve the right to interpet, and apply, the rules as they see fit.

I have, it doesn't.

TEXAS RANGERS FAN CODE OF CONDUCT

5. Any guest encountering difficulties with any other guest is encouraged to notify any representative of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

11. Any person wearing clothing with language, graphics, or revealing parts of their body that may be offensive to another guest may be denied entry into the stadium, or ejected from the stadium without refund.

There's no legal mumbo jumbo at the bottom of the Fan Code of Conduct. It is written in simple, easy to understand English (and Spanish).

posted by tommytrump at 02:20 PM on May 30

My how times have changed. I have some old Highschool photos from around 1980-82 in which a group of seriority (ABK) girls are wearing "we suck at school" t-shirts as well as there being a bunch of "schools out" t-shirts on which said school is blown to bits, A-LA Alice Cooper.

posted by Folkways at 07:23 PM on May 30

ABK by the way was said to mean Any Body Kan.

posted by Folkways at 07:24 PM on May 30

"we suck at school"

Not to be disrespectful, Folkways, but if I'd gone to that school my attendance record might've been a whole lot better than it was.

posted by outonleave at 09:27 PM on May 30

...a group of seriority (ABK) girls are wearing "we suck at school" t-shirts...ABK by the way was said to mean Any Body Kan.

Maybe the reason that they wore those "we suck at school" t-shirts was because they did suck at school. Just look at the way they decided to spell the word "can".

/I kid

posted by BornIcon at 08:58 AM on June 01

My ex-wife sucks. Everybody, apparently.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:12 AM on June 01

When it comes to Codes of Conduct, there's really only one Texas Ranger you need to worry about:

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:41 AM on June 03

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