Three years after being fired by MLB Network for his alleged conduct at his 10-year-old son’s baseball game, Mitch Williams has been awarded $1.5 million in a wrong termination lawsuit.
This saga began in May 2014, when Deadspin reported that Williams, then an MLB Network analyst, had been ejected from a Cal Ripken League game for arguing with the umpire, heckling opposing coaches and calling a 10-year-old a “pussy.” Williams apologized on Twitter for his conduct and took a leave of absence from MLB Network. Then that September, Williams announced he was suing the network for wrongful termination and Deadspin for defamation.
Williams alleged that MLB Network asked him to sign an agreement barring him from his son’s baseball games and fired him when he refused. MLB Network claimed that it fired Williams because he violated a “morals clause” in his contract.
Finally on Tuesday, a jury in Camden, New Jersey decided in Williams’ favor, awarding him a hefty figure—$1,565,33, to be exact—for his troubles.
Via Philly.com, here was the Williams camp’s reaction to the news:
“This verdict completely vindicates Mitch Williams, who was viciously defamed by anonymous sources on the Internet and then had MLB Network breach its contract with him,” said one of his lawyers, Laura Carlin Mattiacci, in a statement.
“The jury’s decision was based in large part on believing Williams’ version. The jury was charged with viewing all of the evidence and determining whether he committed acts that violated the morals clause,” she said in an email Tuesday night.
To all of the people that have wondered where I have been for 3 https://t.co/ZUjo2gb7x5 that answer was provided by a court of law#justice
— Mitch Williams (@Mitch99Williams) June 20, 2017
And here was MLB Network’s response:
MLB Network said in a statement Tuesday evening: “While we respect the jury’s decision, we disagree with their conclusion and are reviewing all of our legal options. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Williams’ lawsuit against Deadspin ended when Gawker Media reportedly settled for $125,000 after the company declared bankruptcy. The links to the posts about Williams’ alleged incident currently leads to a page reading, “This story is no longer available as it has been the subject of litigation against the prior owners of this site. While the case against the prior owners was dismissed, the decision may be appealed.”
MLB Network will presumably contest Tuesday’s verdict, meaning we likely haven’t heard the last of this ordeal.