Brewers fan Karen Eidem asked to remove Ryan Braun ‘Fraud’ shirt by stadium staff
Many Milwaukee Brewers fans are still stunned by Ryan Braun coming out and admitting that he cheated. Braun won an appeal for a positive drug test last year because of an error in the collection process of his urine sample, and many people thought he was out of the woods after that. Now that he has been suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season, most fans feel betrayed.
Earlier this week, a Brewers fan named Karen Eidem attended a game at Miller Park with a Braun T-shirt that she modified to read “Fraud” across the back. It was a clever way of showing her disappointment in the situation, but it did not last long. A stadium staff member told her that if she didn’t change or turn the shirt inside-out she would be asked to leave the ballpark.
“I mean it was obviously meant as a joke, but to put me in a position where I’m the one to be perceived as doing something wrong, that kind of bothered me,” Eidem said, according to NBC 4 in Milwaukee.
Eidem had every right to be bothered. Her shirt did not include any offensive phrases or vulgar language. It certainly didn’t offend any other fans in the ballpark, most of whom probably felt the same way she did. As it turns out, the Brewers agree that she was treated unfairly.
“In this case, the fan absolutely should have been able to wear the jersey without any intervention by our staff,” the team said in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity for fans to express their opinions. The only circumstances that would warrant us intervening is if someone were to display a message or item that would be considered offensive to other fans. This is not a case where that line was crossed, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience to her. We will reach out to Ms. Eidem to invite her to another game this year as our guest.”
Smart move. On Friday morning, Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger appeared on 620WTMJ’s “Wisconsin’s Morning News on Friday” and reiterated the team’s stance.
“Something of that nature is permissible, and she should not have been addressed and threatened with leaving,” Schlesinger said. “That was a mistake on our staff. That is not a situation that we should have done anything with. We were wrong.”
Kudos to the Brewers for trying to make it right. For all we know the person who told Eidem to turn her shirt inside out was a disgruntled Braun fan who works for the team. In any event, “fraud” is one of the nicer words Brewers fans have been using to describe their scorned slugger. He cheated and admitted to it. Eidem being instructed to change her shirt is almost as bad as this 5-year-old being forced to stop supporting his team at school.