TheComeback-A former student at Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights, CA) has filed a lawsuit against the school district and his former baseball coach, citing repeated benching from games and describing it as “harassment and bullying.”
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that 17-year-old Robbie Lopez and his parents are seeking “$150,000 or more” in the lawsuit, claiming that varsity baseball coach Gabriel Lopez (no relation) repeatedly refused to let Robbie play throughout his senior year. The lawsuit claims that Robbie was a starter for three seasons before Gabriel arrived as the new head coach at Los Altos.
The family believes the benching began after Robbie’s father, Robert Lopez II, “complained to the district’s athletic director after a disagreement over a fundraising game.”
The players that didn’t participate in the fundraising event were then not allowed to practice, according to the lawsuit. And this caused the father to then speak with the school, as it’s illegal in the state of California to require public school students to fundraise in order to participate in school activities.
The lawsuit also references an alumni game, where current Los Altos baseball players take on former players from the school in what is basically just a fun scrimmage. Every senior participated in the game, except for Robbie.
Full disclosure, I have no idea how the legal team of 17 year old decided that fair compensation for getting benched in competitive high school athletics ranged in the six figures. I'm no lawyer, but I think the misconduct has to be sexual in nature before you go trying to pay off four years of college tuition with the reparations.
That said, I can't think of any teenager who is more deserving of $150,000 than the one whose overbearing father raised him to be an entitled asshole despite not having the talent to make his head coach ignore the fact that he was a senior that refused to attend team building events. Seriously, nothing screams "leader" like getting your ass plastered to the pine for running to daddy and responding with litigation. The amount might seem a bit exorbitant. However, Robbie Lopez is probably the first high school athlete to ever have his young career stunted by a newly hired, self righteous coach that didn't like having his authority questioned by a self important second baseman that's not even old enough to buy cigarettes.
If the justice system doesn't reward this type of infantile behavior with a payment that is fitting of the price tag on a fully-loaded Mazarati then it might encourage all sorts of disciplinary bullying - such as your standard benching - throughout high-level youth sports! They screw this one up and there's no telling where the line in the dirt gets drawn in terms of testing the depth of your roster via dugout harassment!
P.S. This "highlight reel" says all I need to know. He couldn't get one friend/teammate to go out to the diamond and help him look better by comparison? Really speaks to his popularity in the locker room. I don't know about $150K, but I would be fine with the court rewarding this loner $150 out of pity...