A former Los Altos High School student and baseball player is suing the school district and his former coach for hundreds of thousands of dollars because the coach repeatedly benched him.
If only I'd known that failing to succeed in amateur sports was something that could be monetized. Instead of a handful of bad memories I'd have a cart full of petrodollars.
According to the suit, the school’s head varsity baseball coach, Gabriel Lopez, repeatedly refused to let 17-year-old Robbie Lopez, no relation, play throughout his senior year.
Sadly, we can't add "reverse nepotism" to this already amazing Trial of the Century.
The suit claims this constituted a pattern of “harassment and bullying.”
"I think I'll have you come in as a late-game defensive substitute instead of starting." This is bullying! I'm a victim! Safe space, safe space!!! Now, where's my six figure settlement for this crime against humanity?
Hacienda La Puente Unified athletic director Andrew Formano and assistant superintendent of human resources Jill Rojas both said they could not comment on the matter. Gabriel Lopez did not respond to a request for comment.
Stone-walling and "I have no comment," it's now something your high school sports concern can do!
The boy’s father, Robert Lopez II, believed the coach’s decision to bench his son throughout the season was because he complained to the district’s athletic director after a disagreement over a fundraising game.
If you've ever seen baseball, with the endless downtime and glacial "looks like you're out, too" progress, you know there's plenty of opportunities to complain about fundraising until we get sick of it and decide to punish you with reduced bat-time.
“For over four (4) months and 14 games, (Robbie Lopez) has been benched and not the opportunity to show his offensive or defensive capabilities,” the suit states.
After over five (5) minutes of reading this I've mostly lost my faith in humanity capabilities.
Michael Ponce, the lawyer representing Robbie Lopez and his parents, said the prolonged period of relegating him to the bench is “an abuse of the coach’s discretion.”
I'm not sure how, since that's something the coach is supposed to regulate, but on the other hand we're all gonna get rich.
“These are repeated actions by the coach, which we feel, my client and I, as well as his father, feel are intentional. They’re targeted against (my client) specifically.”
Instead of drawing the line-up out of a hat, like you're supposed to, he specifically targeted individuals.
Don't force me to "lawyer up."
Ponce referred to a recent case in South Carolina in which a cheerleader claimed she was bullied by her coach, who made “derogatory comments about (the student’s) private body parts, causing other students to laugh at” her.
...and this is clearly the exact same thing. As the cheer team might say: Bubble gum, bubble gum. Pop. Pop. Pop. We think your frivolous lawsuit is a flop.
Ponce claimed what happened to his client was “more egregious” than the South Carolina example.
But in a phone interview, Ponce did not give any examples of derogatory comments the coach made to the teenager. And no examples of insulting comments by the coach were presented in the lawsuit.
Being forced to pinch-hit, it's similar to derogatory remarks about your sex parts making everyone laugh at you, maybe worse.
Maybe the kid just wasn't a good player?
So let's assume the kid is a good player and the lawsuit has merit. What would propose as a solution then?
About time someone sues that school. Had my run in 4 years ago in Football. Went to the office and they just told me that the coaches make all the decisions. Now they school can pay for that BS. All they did was give the ball to 3 kids the whole season. The Center, the TB then the running back.
You do what the coach says. That is rule no. 1, 2, 3, and 4. And the fifth rule is repeat rules 1-4. Nonsense.
Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.