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Astros reportedly asked a fan to leave for holding up a sign with Domestic Violence Hotline information

This was not the first time the fan brought the sign with him to watch a game.

KTRK

During Saturday night’s Astros game, one Houston fan says he was removed from Minute Maid Park just for holding a sign. While the sign didn’t involve anything offensive, it did say “Houston Domestic Violence Hot Line 713.528.2121” which is a hotline run by the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Kevin Jukkola told KTRK 13 in Houston that this wasn’t the first time he’d brought the sign to a game but that it was the first time he was asked to leave and give the sign to park security. Jukkola says he was peacefully protesting the signing of Roberto Osuna this summer. Osuna was suspended 75 games by the league under MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy after an incident in Toronto earlier this year.

The investigation and court proceedings are currently ongoing in Canada, where Osuna is set to appear in court on Wednesday as his lawyer seeks a peace bond that would result in dropped charges on the promise of good behavior. Osuna pleaded not guilty to the charges in early May.

Jukkola told KTRK of the situation,

“Some people were not happy about it. Some people were supportive. But either way, there was never an usher called. No security was ever called. Nothing ever happened until Saturday night. I want them to allow me to peacefully protest and not to be removed from the ballpark.”

Another fan who saw the sign said,

“Domestic violence is a serious issue. I think the sign should be irrelevant in the ballpark because the Astros should already have one instead of us needing to bring one.”

That matches the sentiment of some fans, who were against the signing, while others are content to let non-baseball matters be litigating outside of the ballpark’s limits.

The Astros have not responded to multiple outlets’ request for comment on Jukkola’s ejection from the park and MLB’s sign guidelines simply state “Banners must be baseball-related and support teams and players, so long as they are in good taste” and “Management reserves the right to remove any sign deemed inappropriate.” Apparently the Astros found some part of this sign inappropriate or unsupportive of a player. But since Osuna is on the team that plays baseball in Houston, it is definitely baseball related.

Astros manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement when Osuna was acquired, that he “will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind.” Many people pointed out at the time that citing a zero tolerance policy after already trading for an alleged abuser means nothing. Kicking a fan out for a sign that simply supports a domestic violence hotline, without even connecting the obvious dots to the player in question, sure seems like once again choosing to protect the team’s reputation rather than grappling with its decision making.