The Chicago White Sox recently told pitcher Chris Sale that he needed to shave off his scruffy facial hair, and now the American Mustache Institute contends that the team violated his rights in doing so.
The group saw the actions by the White Sox as a “stark violation of Mr. Sales’ civil liberties” and has actually gone to the extent of filing legal papers, sending the following letter to Chicago’s general manager, Rich Hahn.
“Mr. Ventura’s edict violates Mr. Sales’ fundamental workplace rights and has contributed to a hostile work environment therein. The White Sox are not, of course, alone in this endeavor. A 2010 poll conducted for Bellingham, Washington-based Workplace Bullying Institute said that 37 percent of U.S. workers — some 54 million people — believe they have been subjected to a workplace hostility.
Your manager is preoccupied with restricting the growth, masculinity, devout handsomeness, earning potential and the civil liberties of your employees,” the suit continues. “These discriminatory policies are clearly aimed at disallowing your players to experience their ordained heritage as sexually dynamic people of facial hair to the degree they wish. And our community disapproves greatly.”
According to a story by FoxSports.com, the AMI is seeking retribution for damages ranging between $14.97 (yes, that exact figure) and $20.2 million.
While this may sound frivolous and funny, should the lawsuit prove to be successful in any way, it could open the door for many more cases of players fighting against grooming requirements that some teams have.
Yankees and Reds….take note.