Parenting

Fans Demand That Cleveland Indians Remove Fan with Nazi Tattoos after Father's Tweet

A father who was attending a Cleveland Indians game with his children on Sunday stirred up controversy with his tweets about a fan seated in front of him who was sporting Nazi-themed tattoos.

Martin Gecovich became alarmed when the man sitting directly in front of him apparently removed his shirt, revealing two prominent tattoos. One on the man’s neck featured a Reichsadler—and “Imperial Eagle” holding a swastika. The other was a train emblazoned with a swastika. Gecovich tweeted to the Cleveland Indians:

Indians fan reports fan with Nazi tattoos

Image via Twitter

Twitter (of course) was quick to respond to Gecovich’s complaint, with many individuals demanding that the Indians organization remove the man with the tattoo from the park:

In subsequent tweets from his account (which has since been set to private), Gecovich noted that the team had responded by moving his family to different seats (presumably with a Nazi-free view).

Some pointed out that, although the tattoo was offensive, this is a free country, so the man’s right to free speech should be respected.

https://twitter.com/GeorgeDavidson8/status/889192855436132352

Others noted that, as a private business, the Indians have the right to toss out fans with offensive tattoos. “Kevin” pointed out the distinction between speech regulated by the federal government (a First Amendment violation) and speech regulated by a private business (not a violation):

And the Indians do just that at times:

Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Indians, doesn’t have a policy on tattoos, per se. They do, however, explain in their “Security Policies” that “Abusive or inappropriate language, conduct deemed disorderly, unruly or disruptive including inappropriate dress may constitute grounds for ejection.” Major League Baseball also has a Universal Code of Conduct stating that they will intervene if “obscene or indecent clothing” detracts from the guest experience. As far as I can tell, none of these rules would cover offensive tattoos. At least not technically, though maybe they could fall under the “disruptive” category if interpreted broadly.

And, of course, we can’t have a discussion like this without throwing poor Chief Wahoo under the bus and creating a moral equivalence between an innocuous mascot and the Nazi death camps:

https://twitter.com/peterpattakos/status/889256584471293952

What I want to know is why people are allowed to go shirtless at the ballpark. “No shirt, no shoes, no ball game for you.” A simple (and hygienic) rule like that would have completely avoided the Nazi tattoo problem on Sunday.