Foul Play or Fair Game? The $5 Million Lawsuit Over Fresno Grizzlies’ Ladies Night

Photo by Jose Hernandez

In March 2024, Harry Crouch and Christine Johnson filed a lawsuit against the Fresno Grizzlies after attending a Ladies’ Night promotional event on May 25 of last year. 

On this day, women received free admission to the game, whereas men and non-binary individuals had to pay an $18 fee. 

The current lawsuit alleges that this promotional event was a discrimination on gender which was a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. 

The Department of Rehabilitation in California states, “The Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code Section 51) provides protection from discrimination by all business establishments in California, including housing and public accommodations, because of age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.” 

Due to this violation, the Grizzlies are now potentially facing a $5 million lawsuit for damages insisted by the plaintiffs. 

Personally, I question the reasoning behind Crouch’s pursuit of a lawsuit on an event that occurred a year ago. With his status as the President for the National Coalition for Men’s Board of Directors, it seems to me that he may be seeking out an opportunity to receive funds to support his organization. 

Based on the website for the National Coalition for Men, this organization ”was founded in 1977 upon the realization that men needed a unified voice in addressing issues concerning men and boys.”

This organization has been known to pursue discrimination lawsuits against organizations and companies in regards to promotions and admission fees excluding or restricting male participation. 

In 2014, the Chic CEO company hosted a networking business event only for women attendees in efforts to uplift and support one another. Crouch, including 2 other men,  attempted to pay an admission fee which was denied, resulting in a lawsuit against Chic CEO for violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

I am one to wholeheartedly agree on equal rights when it comes to gender but I do feel that some scenarios are taken too far out of context. 

The Ladies’ Night at the Grizzlies game was a one time occurrence during their season. I am confused on how this could have harmed someone attending the event when it only cost $18 for admission. 

I do not feel this was a discriminative promotion but rather one that encouraged women to be open-minded to attending a baseball game. This promotional tactic could have been used to increase the attendance rate of women at baseball games since it is mostly a male dominant interest and hobby. 

I see this more as a way of intertwining genders in a space that can create a sense of harmony because of mutual or a new interest in sports. 

In the end, I do not agree or support this lawsuit and feel as though Crouch used this opportunity to his advantage for financial gain for the National Coalition for Men.

Alexis Zuniga (she/her/hers)

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