Pirates fan forced to remove T-shirt critical of owner Bob Nutting at Friday’s game
A security staffer at PNC Park forced a Pittsburgh Pirates fan to take off a shirt Friday night that read, “Spend Nutting Win Nutting,” referencing owner Bob Nutting’s management decisions, before the fan could enter the game.
The fan, Bruno Manypenny, 33, of Pittsburgh, posted his disappointment with the decision on Facebook afterward.
“I love the sport of baseball always have since I was a kid, but I disagree on how the front office runs this team and I think I should have the right to express that, while still supporting the players,” Manypenny said in the post.
Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said in an email that the security staffer wrongly interpreted a team policy stating that guests must refrain from “wearing clothing which, in the judgment of the Pirates, is indecent, derogatory, obscene, or otherwise detracts from the experience of other guests.”
“In this instance, the guest should not have been asked to turn his shirt inside out,” Warecki said. “All staff will be instructed of this interpretation of our policy.”
Reached by phone Sunday, Manypenny said he hadn’t heard from the organization directly.
“I thought someone would have contacted me by now to apologize for the incident, since I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “I guess that shows just what my shirt says; they don’t care about the fans in Pittsburgh. All they care about is their bottom line.”
After he passed through security, the staffer told him, “I don’t think we are allowing that shirt in tonight,” Manypenny said. The staffer radioed to someone who apparently confirmed his decision.
He took off the shirt, wearing a white T-shirt as he watched the team defeat the St. Louis Cardinals.
The shirt, which he said he wore to about a dozen games last year, represents his view that the management isn’t willing to invest money in the team or take fans into account in their decisions. The incident followed controversial trades early this year of all-star Andrew McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole, which sparked widespread disappointment among fans .
Manypenny told a Pirates Prospects reporter that someone a few rows in front of him was wearing a shirt with the image of an assault rifle on it.
This year’s management decisions prompted one fan to launch a petition urging Nutting to sell the team and another to create a popular Facebook page called “Boycott the 2018 Pirates season.”
As of Sunday the team was on top of the National League Central division, with 16 wins and 11 losses.
Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.