Marlins fans were ejected from the team’s home opener on Monday for their protest against the team’s offseason purge that left the roster depleted.
One year after assembling a high-priced and star-laden squad that included Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, the Miami Marlins dumped its stars in the offseason and slashed its payroll. Fans accused the team and owner Jeffrey Loria of building what appeared to be a contender in 2012 simply to obtain public funding for a new stadium, then gutting the team once it was in place.
On Monday, a small group of Marlins fans decided to protest the team. Wearing t-shirts and holding signs, the group showed their displeasure with the direction of the teams.
They didn’t stay long, however. The Marlins fans were ejected from the stadium for the protest.
“They kicked us out. We didn’t even make it to our seats,” fan Dan Barton said in a phone interview as the ejected fans drove back to Fort Lauderdale.
Barton said the Marlins fans were wrongly ejected, despite offering to turn t-shirts inside out.
“We asked police what we were doing wrong. And he said, ‘They want you to leave.’ ”
Marlins president Davis Samson said the fans were ejected for failing to comply with the requests of security officers.
“We got information from the police that they’d run into a couple of fans who were walking around holding signs that were fine. That was not the issue. They were drawing some attention to themselves. Making some noise later in the game, which is not uncommon,” Samson said.
“As per standard operating procedure, the police go up, try to tell them to calm down and they did not. Then the police said, ‘Show me ID’ and they did not. And that was it. You have to show ID when asked. So they were ejected.”
Critics have said that the ejections showed pettiness on the part of the Marlins, and that the fans’ critiques were warranted.
The Marlins fans ejected from the game didn’t miss much on the field. Miami lost to the Atlanta Braves 2-0 and managed only two hits in the game.