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View Full Version : Disrespectful Treatment at the Urinal


MrRoboto83
04-16-2008, 12:33 AM
This sent to me from a very good friend of mine about his experiences at the Urinal today.


The Unfriendly (at least to the disabled) Confines
were at it again. When I got off the Red Line after
watching the White Sox as the first part of my
day/night doubleheader, I noticed that the brisk wind
would be blowing into my face all night long. So I
went over to the box office and asked if I could
exchange my bleacher seat for a ticket in the
wheelchair section in the upperdeck behind home plate.
The guy in the ticket window, checked, and said there
should be no problem as long as there was still one
seat left when my ticket was dropped off at the
courtesy dropoff window a little after five. But he
said I'd have to do that in any of the last four
ticket windows.

I told him I'd go to my favorite place to eat in
Wrigleyville, the Salt & Pepper Diner, and I'd be
back. I don't know what it is, but the Salt & Pepper
Diner is always empty, despite the fact the food is
great and a pitcher of beer will only set you back
$7.00. My dinner, which consisted of a black bean
burger, tater tots, and the most delicious chocolate
malt ever was just over ten bucks. After chowing down
it was time to return to one of the last four ticket
windows after picking up my ticket from the courtesy
dropoff window.

I told the man that I wanted to exchange my bleacher
ticket for an upper deck wheelchair seat. The ticket
guy went away, came back, and asked if I was going to
be in a wheelchair? Although I walk with crutches and
long leg braces, I don't use a wheelchair, someday I
may have to, but not yet. He said the only way he
could do the exchange was if I was in a wheelchair. I
told him the last time I sat in those upperdeck
wheelchair seats I'd purchased just an upperdeck
ticket, the usher up there had customer service run my
credit card for the difference in the ticket price,
and told me the next time I wanted to sit there I
should just ask for a seat up there. The ticket
window guy said it was policy and he couldn't sell me
a wheelchair seat without me being in a wheelchair.

I took my bleacher ticket back from the ticket window
guy and told him I'd never be coming back to Wrigley
Field. I told him I have had seasons tickets for the
Bulls for over thirty years, never a problem. I go to
about 40+ games a year at the Cell to see the White
Sox, never a problem. I go to the UC to see the
Hawks, never a problem. The ONLY place where I have a
problem is Wrigley Field. Then I told him, I HATE
THIS PLACE! It's no wonder this organization has been
losing for going on 100 years.

A similar incident happened a few years back when I
attempted to purchase a wheelchair seat in the lower
deck boxes behind the plate. I had been sitting in
those seats on and off since I attended my second big
league game at the age of thirteen in 1969. However
on this day I was told I needed to be in a wheelchair.
When I questioned the Cubs, Frank Maloney informed me
that it wasn't his policy, it was ADA telling him that
only disabled persons in a wheelchair should be
allowed to sit in wheelchair seats. I called the ADA,
they told me this was untrue. I informed Frank of
what the ADA said, he said, it was the Cubs official
policy. He told me he'd provide me with a written
copy of this policy when I asked for one, then he
called me back to say, there was no Cubs official
policy, this was his policy. The kicker was the Cubs
provided me with a seat behind the last row of the old
grand stands, when I got to my seat there was no seat,
just a spot for a wheelchair, they could bring me a
folding chair if I'd like. Since that incident I've
attended only Cub games in the bleachers, except for
the one time I was accommodated with a wheelchair seat
in the upperdeck.

Like I said, I walk with crutches & long leg braces,
cannot climb stairs, and I cannot sit in regular seats
because my legs do not bend & cannot fit, also people
need to climb over me. Plus I cannot jump to my feet
when something exciting happens, so I end up missing
the best part of the game when everybody stands up in
front of me.

I'm not a snot nosed whiny little loser Cub fan, I'm a
White Sox fan! I will never set foot in Wrigley Field
again. To my way of thinking the Cubs don't exist,
there is only one major league team in Chicago. I'll
continue to go to the Cell, where they know how to
take care of their fans. LET'S GO WHITE SOX!

manders_01
04-16-2008, 12:54 AM
That's abominable. The Cubs front office need to read the ADA and ANSI codes - they aren't just for people in wheelchairs. :angry:

chisoxfanatic
04-16-2008, 02:31 AM
The guy claims it's the Cubs policy, and then claims it's his policy. Sounds like a load of crap to me. I'm so sorry your friend had to go through that today! How hard is it to accommodate an individual who has a physical condition that is obvious to the naked eye? Hopefully this gets around in other places as well!

Ex-Chicagoan
04-16-2008, 05:04 AM
Sorry to hear that you had trouble up north.

We only needed to take advantage of the wheelchair seating at USCF once - when my late father-in-law came town - and the accommodations could not have been better. We were treated very well, and our out-of-town guests noticed. It spoke well of the White Sox organization.

You would think a franchise that's built on smoke-and-mirrors would go out of their way in the customer service department.

Parrothead
04-16-2008, 07:35 AM
This sent to me from a very good friend of mine about his experiences at the Urinal today.

Just curious, if your friend has that problem why not buy the seat in the wheelchair section in the first place and not the bleachers? :dunno:

RedHeadPaleHoser
04-16-2008, 08:19 AM
That's abominable. The Cubs front office need to read the ADA and ANSI codes - they aren't just for people in wheelchairs. :angry:

I've gone to Wrigley with my wife - who is permanently disabled and on crutches with one leg - they've told her, to her face, that unless she is in a wheelchair, she has to sit in regular seating.

We've gone to the Cell (as well as the UC, Allstate Arena, and Soldier Field) and talk to one usher - they get their supervisors, get on the radios, and make an accomodation. I have offered in each instance to pay for any upgrade - in fact, at the Cell, the woman who took care of us (this was in '06, so her name escapes me - sorry, whoever you are) not only moved our seats to a handicapped section in the UD, also allowed us to ride the elevator, and came back to us later in the game to make sure we are ok.

soxpride724
04-16-2008, 09:05 AM
Thats just terrible. Apparently customer service or common courtesey means nothing to that orginization.

It's Dankerific
04-16-2008, 09:09 AM
I would hope there is some government agency this ADA violation could be reported to.

WizardsofOzzie
04-16-2008, 10:44 AM
One word comes to mind when thinking about the Cubs organization's actions in this situation: PATHETIC!

skottyj242
04-16-2008, 10:46 AM
Hey Tade is this the guy you stand with at games behind home plate?

dllrbll7
04-16-2008, 11:18 AM
I've heard from disabled people that the Sox are much better at accomodating them at games.

asg2003ws2005
04-16-2008, 11:34 AM
the sox pretty much help anyone with a stiff back, limp, sore knees, not to mention fans in crutches and chairs.

I do know they prefer to know about any special needs BEFORE the game date, as they will gurantee accomodation quicker.

Jerko
04-16-2008, 11:41 AM
At the very least the guy could have said, "ok, sit there, but if we need the spot for wheelchairs later you have to move". I don't know how the seating is at the urinal but I'm assuming it's a cramped area.

PatK
04-16-2008, 11:48 AM
Your friend should sue. I believe that is a violation of ADA, as someone has said.

Martinigirl
04-16-2008, 11:51 AM
I am 99.9% sure that is illegal. And it is also illegal to ASK someone what their disability is. The Cubs have NO legal right to say that you must be in a wheelchair and that your disability doesn't warrant a handicapped seat.

voodoochile
04-16-2008, 12:01 PM
Your friend should sue. I believe that is a violation of ADA, as someone has said.

Suing isn't going to get him anything, IMO. He could file a complaint and the flubbies might get fined, but even that isn't a guarantee.

Write a letter to the editor of the Trib and Sun-Times (especially the latter - they love to hammer the Trib every chance they get) and CC flubbie brass on it. Then don't attend anymore games at Wrigley. I imagine the flubbies will send along some free tickets for some nice wheelchair seats and some other goodies to make up for the ill will they generated and they might even revisit their policy regarding who is eligible for those seats.

FWIW, I've sat in the wheelchair seats at USCF with a friend who is disabled. She uses crutches, but rides her scooter for big public events for safety. The only seat I could get while sitting with her was a fold out chair, so that part of things is the same unless the Sox rebuilt those boxes since I sat there.

LongLiveFisk
04-16-2008, 12:01 PM
1) Report this incident to the appropriate agency. Does sound illegal or discriminatory in some way.
2) In the future, NEVER visit Wrigley Field again.

DumpJerry
04-16-2008, 12:29 PM
There is no government agency which specifically enforces the ADA. There are advocacy groups who represent people who have an ADA claim and there are lawyers who represent people who file ADA claims against possible violators.

In addition to the ADA, there is the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Chicago Human Relations Ordinance which cover disability discrimination at The Urinal. Your friend can, without a lawyer, file a discrimination complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations alleging that they did not make a reasonable accommodation for his disability. The results, if they find that the Cubs screwed up, could be a change in the policy, a fine, and/or a nominal award to your friend.

In order for your friend's complaint to proceed under the ADA or the state or municipal ordinances, he would have to be a Qualified Disabled Person. This is generally defined as someone with a permanent condition which affects one or more major life function. Walking is a major life function. If your friend is not a qualified disabled person, there still could be a change in the policy once the Tribune lawyers are made aware of the wheelchair only policy because it has a disparate impact on others with disabilities which can only be accommodated with the type of seating your friend was requesting (and the Sox provide).

The strongest defense against implementing a requested accommodation is that it would cost the company too much to make the accommodation (hence it is no longer "reasonable"). Large companies have a hard time convincing the courts that they are short on cash for most accommodation requests (ramps, wider aisles, TDD machines on an employee's desk, etc.). Your friend's request would not cost the Cubs any money since they do not have to make any structural changes to the place or have to hire additional employees.

By the way, the White Sox this year have done a wonderful job so far for accommodating a large group of disabled persons: those of us with broken hearts from the 2007 season.:smile:

doublem23
04-16-2008, 12:59 PM
Granted, I don't have the ADA memorized, but I believe its, at best, loosely enforceable in this situation because Wrigley Field is a locally recognized historical place. I guess what I'm saying is that this isn't a black and white scenario. It's not quite the same as a public school not having a wheelchair ramp.

Wrigely Field was built in 1914, U.S. Cellular Field was built in the early '90s. The ADA has only been a law since 1990. Which place do you think would be a little more handicap accessible?

dakuda
04-16-2008, 01:18 PM
After my Dad has his knee replaced a few years ago, there were no problems getting any accommodations from the Sox. We went to several games together, and they would pick him up in a wheelchair, bring him to our seats, and pick him up to leave - every time. No complaints there.

thomas35forever
04-16-2008, 02:33 PM
I guess the Tribune's beliefs carry over to Cubs employees, the belief that it doesn't matter where people sit no matter what physical disabilites they may have as long as the ticket was bought, thus making money for the organization. People aren't kidding when they say Wrigley Field is not family-friendly. I feel sorry for others that have had to put up with this.:angry:

white sox bill
04-16-2008, 02:35 PM
since WE are the red headed step sister in this city, wouldn't it figure that WE try harder than out pretty sibling?

RedHeadPaleHoser
04-16-2008, 03:06 PM
since WE are the red headed step sister in this city, wouldn't it figure that WE try harder than out pretty sibling?

Some of us ARE redheaded step children...and we resemble that remark. :D:

pdimas
04-16-2008, 03:33 PM
Sorry to hear that you had trouble up north.

We only needed to take advantage of the wheelchair seating at USCF once - when my late father-in-law came town - and the accommodations could not have been better. We were treated very well, and our out-of-town guests noticed. It spoke well of the White Sox organization.

You would think a franchise that's built on smoke-and-mirrors would go out of their way in the customer service department.


My dad took my grandmother who walks with a cane and the Sox staff refused to let them even use the escalator and got a wheelchair for her and took her up to the seats in the elevator. My father was very impressed and greatful. I think they even squeezed them into a handicapped seating section. Props to the Sox.

voodoochile
04-16-2008, 03:54 PM
My dad took my grandmother who walks with a cane and the Sox staff refused to let them even use the escalator and got a wheelchair for her and took her up to the seats in the elevator. My father was very impressed and greatful. I think they even squeezed them into a handicapped seating section. Props to the Sox.

Sox have always been cool about this stuff. I remember going with a buddy who had ACL reconstructive surgery and was walking with a cane a while back and they allowed our party to ride up and down the elevators with him

scarsofthumper
04-16-2008, 04:05 PM
Even the Allstate Arena is VERY accomodating as far as disabilities. My friend has an amputated leg (left knee and lower) and we went to WrestleMania 22 and they were very helpful to us, even getting us a seat in the wheelchair section

MrRoboto83
04-16-2008, 06:02 PM
Hey Tade is this the guy you stand with at games behind home plate?

Yes, Tedd is the guy.

manders_01
04-16-2008, 07:40 PM
Granted, I don't have the ADA memorized, but I believe its, at best, loosely enforceable in this situation because Wrigley Field is a locally recognized historical place. I guess what I'm saying is that this isn't a black and white scenario. It's not quite the same as a public school not having a wheelchair ramp.

Wrigely Field was built in 1914, U.S. Cellular Field was built in the early '90s. The ADA has only been a law since 1990. Which place do you think would be a little more handicap accessible?

If Wrigley has had any renovations since the ADA was created, the area being renovated would have to be upgraded to comply with the entire code unless it was technically infeasible or threatened to destroy the historic significance of the facility. Don't be fooled by "the area being renovated" - the code is worded so that area eventually becomes most.

GlassSox
04-16-2008, 09:00 PM
Went to Wednesday's game. It's 3 - 1/2 weeks since my hip replacement and walking with a cane. Used the handicapped parking @ gate 4 and my wife and I were graciously escorted to the elevator to enjoy great tickets purchased from skobabe8. Everyone was very accomodating. The story at the start of this thread is just a real sad account of people just being unconcerned about being a decent human being. It's a very sad statement about some Urinal employee(s).

GlassSox
04-16-2008, 09:16 PM
By the way, the White Sox this year have done a wonderful job so far for accommodating a large group of disabled persons: those of us with broken hearts from the 2007 season.:smile:

:rolling: So true, so true!

comerica
04-17-2008, 08:29 AM
I'm a tigers fan, but I kind of like the cubs as well and had a great time at my one trip to Wrigley.

That said, I'm not disabled. I have to admit that was pretty shabby treatment. I would agree that he should send it to the newspapers, you never know, the bad publicity might actually get some problems addressed.

Viva Medias B's
04-17-2008, 08:38 AM
Yesterday on B&B, Cub fan Matt Abbatacola came on and said he now hates going to Chicago Cubs baseball games at the Shrine. He went so far as to say he enjoys going to White Sox games more. These comments were prompted by his outing to Wrigley Field the other night when dumb, fully krausened fans got under his skin. He cited an example of them going into the restrooms to smoke, even though the Cubs evidently now have people stationed in the restrooms to specifically tell people not to smoke. The smoking advocates would start a chant along the lines of "[Bleep] the attendant!"

I cannot believe this occurs at Wrigley Field.