Why is Omar Vizquel being sued? Ex-MLB star accused of exposing privates to autistic batboy
Ex-MLB star Omar Vizquel is being sued for allegedly exposing his privates to an autistic batboy multiple times. The civil lawsuit, filed on Friday, August 6, by the 25-year-old batboy also claimed that Vizquel forced him to 'wash his back while he showered'. The incident in question took place back in 2019.
Omar Vizquel's alleged victim worked as a batboy for the Chicago White Sox’s Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, when he was managing the team in 2019. The batboy accused the ex-MLB star of victimizing him by "deliberately" exposing his partially or fully aroused private part on at least five occasions. He also claimed that Vizquel "targeted" him for sexual harassment because of his disability. The lawsuit names the Birmingham Barons and the Chicago White Sox as defendants.
According to the filing, the batboy said that he considered Vizquel a friend and told him he had autism during the 2019 season. He further said that Vizquel told him he was homosexual in June 2019. According to the lawsuit, the batboy made it clear to Vizquel that he 'wasn’t interested', but the Barons manager started paying "far more attention" to the batboy than his four other counterparts. The incident in question occurred on August 22, 2019, when Vizquel emerged naked from a shower following a game and giving the man a bar of soap, told him to "Wash my damn back!"
The lawsuit further alleges that the man complied with Vizquel’s request as he was "humiliated, intimidated and frightened" by the consequences that might follow if he disobeyed. The man, however, told team staffers about the incident later, which prompted 'laughs' from several of them with the clubhouse manager warning him that "everything that happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse". The man was "too humiliated and scared" to return to his job as a batboy, the lawsuit claimed. "At this point, he was constructively discharged, as no reasonable person would have returned to that work environment after what had happened,” the lawsuit stated.
In the lawsuit, the man accused the White Sox and the Barons of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act while seeking back pay, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. The White Sox told ESPN that they came to know of an alleged incident in August 2019, which led to Vizquel’s termination after one season as the Barons manager. The team released a statement that said, "Because this is active litigation, at this time the White Sox will not comment further regarding the allegations included in this lawsuit." While MLB is investigating the matter, an attorney for Vizquel said he denied the allegations. No criminal charges have been pressed against Vizquel in connection with the matter in question so far.