W E S T H O L L Y W O O D, Calif., Aug. 24, 2000 -- The Dodgers apologized Wednesday to a lesbian couple ejected from Dodger Stadium earlier this month after the two shared a kiss during a game against the Chicago Cubs.
“I was troubled … because of what it implied about the Dodger organization,” team president Bob Graziano said.
“It means a lot to me that you are Dodger fans,” he said to Danielle Goldey and Meredith Kott. “We will continue to do the right thing.”
The two were escorted out of the ballpark on Aug. 8. Goldey and Kott say they initially were not told why they were being ejected, but later they were told that someone complained and said children should not be exposed to “those people.”
“We were pulled out of our seats and we didn’t even know why,” Goldey said of the incident. “Meanwhile, because there were so many people, it … caused a scene and fans started booing the security guards.”
The couple said their companions, a heterosexual couple, also kissed but were not ejected. Because of this, they felt the action of the eight security guards was discrimination.
In addition to the public apology, the Dodgers donated 5,000 tickets to three gay and lesbian organizations and promised sensitivity training for their employees.
“I think they stepped up to the plate more than they had to,” Goldey said. “All we wanted was an apology … I’m very proud to be a Dodger fan.”
“I’m extremely happy with the results,” Kott said.
The couple had planned to file a civil rights lawsuit if the Dodgers had not apologized, according to their lawyer, Bernie Bernheim. He said he first thought the Dodgers might have a policy against gay and lesbian couples showing affection in the ballpark.
“I’m frankly shocked,” Bernheim said. “Their response is atypical and outstanding.” He said the Dodgers have done more to make amends than any other corporation he’s dealt with.
Goldey and Kott have been invited to sit behind home plate to make up for the game they missed.
“It is not trivial to be thrown out of a public place based of who you are,” said Jon Davidson of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay advocacy group. “This result is a home run for all concerned.”