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By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2000

Dodgers apologize for ejecting lesbian couple

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The Dodgers apologized Wednesday to a lesbian couple ejected from Dodger Stadium earlier this month after the two shared a kiss during a game against the Chicago Cubs.

"I was troubled ... because of what it implied about the Dodger organization," team president Bob Graziano said.

"It means a lot to me that you are Dodger fans," he said to Danielle Goldey and Meredith Kott. "We will continue to do the right thing."

The two were escorted out of the ballpark on Aug. 8. Goldey and Kott say they initially were not told why they were being ejected, but later they were told that someone complained and said children should not be exposed to "those people."

The couple said their companions, a heterosexual couple, kissed but were not ejected. Because of this, they felt the action of the eight security guards was discrimination.

In addition to the public apology, the club donated 5,000 tickets to three gay and lesbian groups and promised sensitivity training for employees.

"I think they stepped up to the plate more than they had to," Goldey said. "All we wanted was an apology ... I'm very proud to be a Dodger fan."

"I'm extremely happy with the results," Kott said.

The couple had planned to file a civil rights lawsuit if the Dodgers had not apologized, according to their lawyer, Bernie Bernheim. He said he first thought the Dodgers might have a policy against gay and lesbian couples showing affection in the ballpark.

"I'm frankly shocked," Bernheim said. "Their response is atypical and outstanding."

He said the Dodgers have done more to make amends than any corporation with which he has dealt.

Goldey and Kott have been invited to sit behind home plate to make up for the game they missed.

In player news: Ben Diggins, the club's first-round draft pick, signed and was sent to Class A San Bernardino. ... Shortstop Kevin Elster (strained left hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Right-hander Mike Judd was recalled from Triple A.

BRAVES: Greg Maddux has allowed seven earned runs in his past five starts for a 1.87 ERA.

CARDINALS: The club is not optimistic it will be activating Mark McGwire (knee) on Sept. 1 when active rosters expand from 25 players to 40. "It hasn't really improved much and he's been doing everything for it," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's been on time and hasn't missed one treatment, and hasn't gotten an attitude about it. But when you're doing all that and it doesn't improve, you start to worry." McGwire last played July 6.

EXPOS: The club has given up an option to lease land in downtown Montreal for a new ballpark, citing an ownership group dispute. ... Montreal's Triple-A team, the Ottawa Lynx, said it will seek affiliation with another major-league team when its four-year player development contract runs out at the end of this season.

MARLINS: Preston Wilson has struck out 160 times in 126 games and is on pace to set a major-league record. ... Outfielder Cliff Floyd is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Friday.

ROCKIES: Rookie outfielder Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to 16. ... Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds (stiff neck) was scratched from the starting lineup.


BLUE JAYS: Right-hander Pat Daneker was claimed on waivers from the White Sox. He went 8-11 with a 5.80 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte.

INDIANS: Left-hander Ricardo Rincon (bone spurs) was activated from the 15-day disabled list. The reliever appeared in 16 games, going 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA before going on the DL. Left-hander Tom Martin was sent to Triple-A Buffalo.

RANGERS: Tyrell Godwin, a supplemental first-round draft pick in June, rejected the team's contract offer and returned for his final semester at North Carolina. Godwin was set to sign for a $1.2-million bonus last week, but the Rangers reduced the offer when an examination revealed a pre-existing knee injury, Baseball America reported. Godwin is considered by many the fastest player in the draft.

WHITE SOX: Rookie right-hander Jon Garland (bruised right arm) was placed on the disabled list. Garland, 3-4 with a 5.98 ERA, was struck just below the right elbow Friday night by a line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay's Fred McGriff.

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