Say It Ain’t So! [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The title of this article is a reference to the "Black Sox" scandal of 1919, when the Chicago White Sox lost the World Series on purpose. When "Shoeless" Joe Jackson was implicated in the shocking incident, an unsupported story says that a young fan approached him and said, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" in an expression of disbelief.
The same disturbing feeling was in the pit of my stomach when I found out that 21 men are demanding justice from the Boston Red Sox and three other MLB teams after they declared they were victims of sexual assault back when they were teens by a former clubhouse manager.
The reprobate was Donald "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges of attempted sexual battery in 2002, acknowledging he used Red Sox memorabilia to lure the young clubhouse workers into secluded areas, where he abused them. These kids were in their teens and landed the dream job of a lifetime with the Boston Red Sox, which turned into a nightmare of molestation and sexual attack. Players and staff knew about this miscreant, warning the kids to stay away from Fitzy. It was the worst kept secret on the team, as the abuse went on for years and years. This is what baffles me.
Today, Attorney Mitchell Garabedian represents all 21 men, 15 of whom are African American. He has been arguing for out-of-court settlements with the Red Sox and three other teams, but it's been a dead-end road. Daniel Goldberg, an attorney for the Red Sox, sent out an old release that said Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to criminal charges under the team's previous ownership and was fired.
And that's it? What about justice for the victims?
What gets me is the Red Sox, usually a first-class organization, took to Twitter recently to assure us that they were listening and working to get rid of racism, and committed to doing better.
Really? So far those words call for the Bronx cheer.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.