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My phault

June 12, 2012

I was asking for it.

I ignored the flashing red sign in my head that said DON’T READ THE COMMENTS, the one that reliably blinks into action on the information superhighway to warn me away from the collision of a sensitive subject and an insensitive audience.

I thought maybe I’d be safe at HardballTalk, where both the bloggers and the commentariat are more literate, more progressive, and more self-policing than those of the average baseball website. But really, I knew better. “A woman is suing the Phillie Phanatic,” read the headline. “60 comments,” said the subheading. “Click,” went my index finger.

The story, in brief, is that the Phillie Phanatic, already the most sued mascot in professional sports, is once again on the wrong end of a lawsuit, having been accused of picking up a woman in a lounge chair and throwing her into a pool without her consent at a hotel party. Her court filing claims that she suffered physical injuries, including a herniated disc and “severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, body, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and tissues,” as well as “physical pain, mental anguish and humiliation.”

You can see where this is headed, of course. The commenters (unlike the Phillies themselves, these days) were swift and merciless.

The phillie fanatic is one of the best mascots in sports. Barring an imposter who power bombed this woman in a 2ft baby pool, this woman is full of sh**

GET A LIFE LADY!! I hope the judge dismisses this case

Wow, she’d have been better off crashing her car into brick wall. But then again the world would more than likely be a better place if she just drove that car into a bridge abutment.

I hear she’s also got a lawsuit going against the Easter Bunny for not making choke proof Easter Eggs and Santa for eating her cookies and causing ‘Incredible Mental Anguish’

Hey, if the Phanatic tossed her in a pool, maybe she deserved it.

If what the plaintiff alleges is actually true, then I suppose she’s due her day in court, but count me skeptical. Surely in this day and age somebody caught that incident on video. I’d like to see what *really* happened.

I bet this is the same phillie fan who was caught prostituting herself for phillies world series tickets.

If she really wants to feel ‘humiliation and loss of life’s pleasures,’ she should be on HBT reading what we have to say about her. Good shots, guys.

Good shots, guys.

It’s no accident that the last commenter assumed his fellow hecklers were male, and no accident that the “she’s a lying skank”-themed comments outnumbered the “maybe we should wait for all the facts to emerge before we rush to judgment” comments by a factor of ten or twenty. And what about the ones that said “wow, regardless of whether the injuries were real or exaggerated, what kind of  jerk throws someone into a pool with no warning and no authorization”? What about the folks whose knee-jerk reaction was that the guy in the green suit was an insensitive brute, rather than that his accuser was a gold-digging wench? Nope, sorry. None of those.

I get it: The fact of the lawsuit, and the melodramatic language packaged therein, raised hackles. We’re suspicious, not without reason, of this sort of litigation, because we’ve heard too many stories of baseless claims and opportunistic complainants.

But, hey, you know what we’ve also heard too many stories of? Men doing things to women’s bodies without permission, and women being expected to laugh it off, or deny that it hurt them, or apologize for bringing it upon themselves.

I contributed a couple of comments to the thread, finally prompting one fed-up gentleman to reply, “Can you get a grip or what?”

Yeah, he’s right. I should never have been on that comment thread in the first place. HBT has some of the best commenters in all of sports blogging. I deserved what I got.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 13, 2012 7:06 am

    Absolutely disgusting, and all too predictable.

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