In 2004, major league baseball team the Oakland A's had a Mother's Day promotion. Before the game they sponsored a 5K run for breast cancer research, arranged for free mammograms for the women present, and gave out floppy plaid sun hats to the first 7,500 ladies to arrive. Rava attended the event, and when he was not presented with a hat of his own, he decided to sue.
As Rick Reilly reports for ESPN The Magazine, Rava's case is nearly won:
A judge has given preliminary approval to a $510,000 settlement — roughly half to lawyers and the rest to the "victims" — the poor, downtrodden gender-disadvantaged waifs like Rava who didn't get their floppy Mother's Day hats. This is where you come in.
If you can prove you were one of the first 7,500 people there that day, you get $50 in cash, two-for-one A's tickets and a $25 Macy's coupon. It won't be hard. All you have to do is (A) state under oath that you are a male, (B) show some kind of receipt for your ticket and (C) swear you were there early. That's good enough. There's no video, and nobody's going to spend $5,000 deposing you over $100.
So far no one has come forward to claim any hat money, and several fans have spoken out against the lawsuit. "The entire settlement should be donated to the Breast Care Center at UCSF," says A's fan (and decent human being) Ben Huber.
But this isn't the first time Rava has sued over male discrimination: Rava has been involved in more than 40 male anti-discrimination lawsuits, sometimes as the plaintiff, but other times as the plaintiff's lawyer. He has sued restaurants and nightclubs for their women-only promotions, and he sued the Angels for giving away a $1.45 tote bag to women in 2005. He also sued Club Med for a vacation package that offered women a $400 discount on airfare (as reported here, at Mensactivism.org). While we recognize that some of these cases aren't all that fair, Rava seems like a real asshole. After realizing that Rava doesn't live or work in Oakland, Reilly phoned up Rava to ask him why he was at the A's game the very same day that they were holding a women-only giveaway. Rava wouldn't say. Reilly finally asked him the question everyone is thinking what would your mother say?:
"I am sure my mom would be proud of my lawsuit against this major league baseball franchise that denied male and female consumers under 18 years of age free fishing hats based on sex and age," he says.
Sadly, Rava's mother is unable to support or refute his comments. She died at age 53 of breast cancer.
Make $100 The Sleazy Way [ESPN]