Boston Firefighter Sues Red Sox for Race Discrimination

A Boston firefighter is suing the Boston Red Sox claiming that during the 2013 World Series he was denied entry to Fenway Park to conduct an inspection because of his race.

Robert C. Cox, 50, a fire inspector, claims that on October 23, 2013, he and two fellow inspectors arrived at Fenway Park during a World Series game between the Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. All three men were in civilian attire but had their badges and identification.

Cox claims that one of the inspectors who is white, Ronald A. Ingemi, was allowed to enter “without issue”, while he and and Rhoan J. Dalmar, both of whom are black, were stopped and asked for additional identification.

The Boston Globe quoted from the complaint:

  • “[Cox] repeatedly asked why their credentials were being questioned when their colleague was allowed to enter only seconds earlier without even having to flash”
  • “[Cox became] very emotional as a result of the encounter and has undergone therapy as a result of the treatment he received”

After involvement of Boston Police, Cox was denied entry to the ballpark. He initially filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, who found “probable cause existed to support [Cox’s] allegations.”

The suit was filed last week in Suffolk County Superior Court and seeks unspecified damages.

Here is more on the story. If any of our friends in Mass can get us a copy of the complaint – I’d be much obliged.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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