Going to the game? Keep your shirt on

There’s always at least one guy at baseball games who assumes other people want to look at this sort of thing:

Nobody wants to look at this, sir. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is.


The man in Detroit this week told a TV station he has no idea why an usher once told him to keep his shirt on.

It was 10 years ago when Washington Post writer David Segal referred to this as “the fleshy, lardy B-roll of summertime America.”

The Skins cover up all winter long and then consider it nothing short of an inalienable American right to ditch the polo when they think it makes sense. They’re not lawless creatures; all but the most fringe of their ilk will wear a shirt into a store or on the subway. But in a small way, they’re getting in touch with the part of every guy that thought “Lord of the Flies” was kind of cool, until, you know, everyone on that island started stabbing one another. The Skins recognize boundaries, but they can’t fathom why the off-limits mark should include a place as public and rowdy as a stadium.

They don’t understand the fuss. Frankly, they’re amazed that anyone is writing a story on this topic.

Because it’s hideous.

(h/t: Jonathan Blakley)

  • Al


  • Kassie

    Also not pretty: fat shaming.

    • Veronica

      Also, it’s just not constitutional to allow men to go without shirts and not allow women the same freedom.

      • JonasGrumby

        I’m all in favor of allowing this Veronica. In the name of equality, of course.

    • The male body is hideous in all its forms. And I don’t want someone’s back sweat on me. Or the seat I’m sitting in.

      • Jerry

        That sounds like your problem, not theirs.

        • But it’s not for the same reason fans are presently protected from actions from other patrons that interfere with their enjoyment of the game. THAT’s the code that is in every guide to any stadium. Check the Twins’, for example. It’s online.

          You can’t for example, wear inappropriate T-shirts and in some stadiums — Washington, Target Field — you can’t take your shirt off. You can’t have too much to drink and talk loudly. You can’t stand up and block views.

          • Jerry

            The important thing to remember is that baseball is not supposed to be fun. There is a reason it is the favourite sport of people like George Will.

      • Mike

        Sarcasm or bigotry? Straight women and gay men would beg to differ on that sentiment.

        • I have zero interest in sharing body fluids when a person needs to get through the row to the aisle. So put a shirt on.

          • Jeff C.

            Its 39 degrees, so the guy probably isn’t sweating very much, so there probably isn’t a greater risk of getting his fluids on you as compared to him sneezing when you walk by. If it was 90 degrees and sunny and he was wearing a thin, sweat-soaked t-shirt, would you expect him to put a sweatshirt on to protect you from his sweat the way you are expecting him to put a shirt on today? I’m guessing the back of his seat would have more sweat on it then than it will today.

          • I don’t care what the temperature is or what the weather is, however. It’s inappropriate attire based on many stadium guidelines.

      • Kassie

        As a heterosexual woman, I completely disagree. I find the male body attractive. And if this wasn’t about this particular man, why not use other bodies to represent your point? This whole post just feels like fat shaming this particular guy.

        • Was there another person sitting out in 36 degree weather at a baseball game without a shirt? If so, send me the photo and I’ll be happy to post it and tell you he should put a shirt on.

          • Kassie

            Here’s the thing: Fat women and men are always being told “keep your shirt on, no one wants to see that.” Or we are told we can’t wear leggings or swimsuits or crop tops because “it makes people’s eyes hurt” or we are “hideous.” So when you take a picture of an overweight man and use these phrases to describe him, that’s fat shaming. You can say you would say the same thing if it was a thinner man, but you didn’t. You didn’t have a post saying these things about men with their chests painted during the Vikings game, which I’m sure you could find photos of. You didn’t have a post with young women in bikini tops, which I’m sure you will find at sporting events all summer. You didn’t use any photos of fit people to illustrate your point. You fat shamed this man.

          • Like I said, if you’ve got a picture of anyone else who took their shirt off at a baseball game this week, by all means send it. The same goes for women in bikini tops (although I find that different than taking your shirt off).

            There were two pictures associated with the post. One is the picture that went viral.

            And this one, which is what’s associated with the post on Twitter and the front page. That didn’t happen this week, though so it’s not in the post.


            Am I thin shaming these gents? Nope, I’m bare skin shaming.

            Now, the girth in the man above actually IS a component of the problem because he doesn’t stay within the seat dimensions; he would be invading the space of those sitting to the left and right. That seems like a pretty good additional reason to enforce a shirt policy.

            They should put the shirt on. He should put the shirt on.


          • Jeff C.

            So your complaint is about the (lack of) clothing, not the person’s appearance? As a reader, that didn’t come across. Your reason for why a person would write a news story about a fat, harry shirtless guy in the stands of a baseball game (“Because it’s hideous.”) certainly gives the impression that the “it” that you are referring to is “the person”, not the flagrant disregard of the standards of common decency.

          • I’m not sure how you separate clothing from appearance since how his/her appearance is very much dictated by clothing, or lack of same.

            If you’re saying physical characteristics shouldn’t determine a policy, I totally agree. That’s why I said if you go to a ballgame, keep your shirt on.

            I find the appearance of men without shirts (and also, joggers, btw, but that’s another story) hideous in appearance.

          • Jeff C.

            Sorry, I should have written “physical appearance” not just “appearance”. I too agree that physical characteristics shouldn’t determine a policy. We all know, however, that it does. It is why it is legal and acceptable for the man in this picture to be allowed to be dressed the way he is dressed while there would be shouts of outrage if the woman was dressed the same way. And, at the same time, there are shouts of (different) outrage that the man is dressed the way he is while there is no outrage directed at the woman. Am I correct that Bob The Usher would say to both of these people, “Put a shirt on!”?


          • That is correct.

          • Kassie

            This is so frustrating. Someone who regularly feels shamed about their weight is telling you that this is not acceptable and you keep doubling down about why it is. I’m telling you, as a fat person, this is shaming. That this makes people like me feel bad. That we get these messages all the time and it sucks. I’m done.

          • You’re saying the choice of the picture of something that happened this week is fat shaming; that I should have used a picture of somethinh that didn’t happen this week, in order to not use a picture of someone you consider fat. I should’ve used a thin person even if the picture wasn’t in the news this week, which is why it got attention.

            I get that. It’s not that I don’t understand what you’re saying and protesting. I’m saying you’re wrong. The two are not the same .

          • Jerry

            Just keep digging. I’m sure you will get out of that hole in no time that way.

          • Jerry, thanks for your input.

          • Jerry

            Still digging.

            When you offend someone, even if you did not mean to, the correct response is not to imply they are stupid for being offended. It’s also a good skill to take constructive criticism and not double down.

          • I’m sorry you INFERRED that I think KC is stupid, as I wrote no such thing. I think she is wrong in interpretation, which is what I actually said. I have no doubt her feelings she expressed are true.

          • Jerry

            Let me ask you a question: why do you think the picture above was in the news recently, as opposed to all the other pictures of underdressed people at games? It’s because the original picture is fat shaming, and you are just continuing it, even if you are not consciously aware of it.

          • You asked a question in order to answer it with an opinion so I’ll give you an actual answer based on a fact. It was in the “news” (Twitter) because it was 39 degrees in Detroit this week when he decided to take his shirt off. If you look at the original tweet, that connection was made quite clearly.

      • Postal Customer

        Well I don’t consider my body hideous, so wtf?

        Do you consider your own body hideous?

        • As stated before I consider all shirtless people at baseball games hideous. I wear a shirt as is appropriate attire for a baseball game.

    • Rob

      Not seeing the fat shaming. If the dude were fully clothed, but called out for being fat, that IMHO would be fat shaming. I don’t go to ballgames to see anybody, regardless of size or shape, expose their torsos.

      • Kassie

        Really? Would this be a story if it was a guy with six pack abs? Would Bob say about that man “Because it’s hideous.” Also the sentence that says “fleshy, lardy B-roll of Summertime America” is clearly about weight.

        • The correct question is would it be a problem if a woman removed her top? Would that be considered inappropriate attire? Yes, it would. So it should for a man too.

          In fact, the Twins, for example, policy on displays of affection between same-sex couples is “would it be considered inappropriate for people of the opposite sex.” If it would, then out they go.

          No different here. Same standard applies for everybody.

          • Joseph

            Let’s have some gender equality — if the men can go topless, than so can the women.

          • JonasGrumby

            So much for the kiss cam.

        • Rob

          I would. I don’t go to games to see cut people show off any more than I go to games hoping to see people that are the opposite of cut display themselves.

  • RBHolb

    Some years ago, a fellow named John Neff was photographed at a Steelers game with his zipper accidentally left undone. The picture ran in Sports Illustrated with the caption “A Strange Kind of Love.”

    The reason anyone in the world remembers this incident is that Mr. Neff made the unfortunate decision to sue. He lost, and his case is now a staple of tort law case books throughout America.

  • Gary F
  • EarthToBobby

    Why you gotta body shame, Bob?

  • MrE85

    If it makes Bob feel better, I’m usually fully clothed when I comment on NewsCut. Usually..

  • Rob

    There once was a heavily bearded dude
    Who thought it would be cool to be rude.
    He took off his shirt
    Which made folks’ eyes hurt
    And spoiled their day at the game.

    • Jerry

      And what is with these ugly people at games. They should cover their faces so I don’t have to see them. Or maybe they should watch the game instead of him.

      • That’s a leap of….ah, never mind. I’m pretty sure you don’t even like baseball.

        • Jerry

          How is it a leap? You are clearly offended at the appearance of other people at a game.

          • Change your bait. I’m not biting. Want to talk about shirts, I’ll be happy to. Silly and irrelevant hypotheticals? Enjoy yourself.

          • Jerry

            It’s not a sign of weakness to admit when you are wrong, Bob. Especially when you have offended a good share of your most loyal readers.

      • Rob

        You just might be on to something.

  • Nick Rocks


  • jon

    “Nobody wants to look at this, sir.”
    Says the guy who posted a photo on the internet for people to look at…

    Seriously though, I’ve got no beef with people opting to go topless, men, women, children, there ain’t nothing there that should be all that surprising to any of us… (other than those people who have a surprising amount of body hair…)

    But there are some issues here…
    1) keep your body to yourself… if you spill over into other seats (in this case empty seats) STOP DOING THAT! I don’t particular care how this is accommodated, but I hate having people spill over onto me in movie theaters, stadiums, airplanes, etc… keep your body to yourself, no matter what size it is… I, as a tall person, don’t get to stretch my legs across your leg room, I just have to eat my knees, yet for some reason there is a certain amount of acceptance for people spilling over arm rests and getting themselves all over other people.
    2) keep your body fluids to yourself! No one likes dealing with sweat covered chairs, so if you can’t contain your body fluids, get some fabric there to catch them and wick them away…
    3) sunscreen… I don’t know if he is wearing it, but if you choose to have exposed skin sitting outside for hours, sun screen.

    Otherwise, I’m not going to complain about visuals, I might not want to see something that is out in public, doesn’t mean that the thing doesn’t have a right to be there… if it’s an unappealing statue, a person, or even some sort of monster minding its own business and not doing anything illegal…

    • Kassie

      In regards to your #1. Instead of insisting we all keep in our tiny spaces that we sometimes don’t fit, we could just be kind to each other and accept that places, especially airplanes, aren’t made for many bodies and try to accommodate each other. I’ll let you put your legs in my area a little bit if you don’t mind when I need to stretch my arms a bit into your space sometimes.

      • jon

        Or we could follow a different kindergarten rule and keep our bodies to ourselves…

  • Jeff

    There were the days when you wouldn’t be caught dead without a hat much less a shirt. I guess this is progress.

    • Kassie

      And, from the photo, women weren’t allowed to attend? So yes, I’d say it is progress.

      • Barton

        Women were allowed to attend baseball games in the early days, but it certainly wasn’t encouraged I mean, we should have been at home taking care of the kinder and the house (eye roll).

        My grandmothers both tell stories about going to ball games in the ’30s. Hat, gloves, dresses, hose, and heels. In Missouri in the summer. As much as I love baseball, that sounds like hell to me.

        • Jerry

          Baseball has always been the most reactionary of American sports.

      • Jeff

        Yes, the good ‘ol days. All I see is white faces too.

  • Postal Customer

    Bottom line: this wouldn’t have been a story if the guy wasn’t fat.

    So yeah, it’s fat-shaming.

    • Well, that’s an interesting approach to the discussion. “I will state a guess as fact which is based on my opinion and no firsthand knowledge, and thus conclude it proves my opinion is correct.” Go for it.

      • X.A. Smith

        Well, you chose some ineffective words if you didn’t intend to fat-shame.

      • Postal Customer

        “The male body is hideous in all its forms”

        “I will state a guess as fact which is based on my opinion and no firsthand knowledge, and thus conclude it proves my opinion is correct.”

  • KTFoley

    I’m assuming it’s too far off topic to comment on how many innings might have passed between the top photo and the Twitter photo — looks like that sunburn could be nasty.


    I’d say it generally depends on the sporting event and the type of venue.

    – When it comes to outdoor baseball: anything goes (under lawful decency, of course).

    Crowds at MLB games are typically thin. If you don’t want to look at Patrick Reusse sunbathing (whoever posted that on here should be arrested, BTW), it’s much easier to move to a different section.

    Besides … it’s like going to the beach. Let people relax and have fun.

    – For arena sports like hockey/basketball: wear a damn shirt (unless you’re watching a Pelicans game at a half-filled SmoothieKing Arena … it’s New Orleans, after all).

    – For NFL games, who cares: decent people don’t go to NFL games.