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NCFM President Harry Crouch, Ladies Night (and the Fresno Grizzlies)

May 23, 2024

fresno grizzlies


California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act is one of the strongest civil rights acts in the United States. Violations can result in lawsuits. When plaintiffs are successful, fines and attorney fees are guaranteed, thereby incentivizing businesses not to discriminate and attorneys to take a cases.

The Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code Section 51) provides protection from discrimination by all business establishments in California, including housing and public accommodations, because of age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Other State laws relating to prohibitions of discrimination based on disability include California Civil Codes Sections 54 through 55.2 .

Over the past few decades hundreds of Unruh violation cases have been filed.

NCFM members participated in most of those, to the degree that the New York Times, Mother Jones, LA Times, and numerous other major media outlets took note.

Because of Unruh, its sanctions, a handful of attorneys, related cases (especially those involving NCFM members) and the media, today socially acceptable, stereotyped, and wide-spread discrimination against men and women in public accommodations have largely stopped.

None of which could have been done without the aid of several attorneys, including NCFM member attorneys, who took on such cases on contingency or pro bono. Without those attorneys there would have been no resources to continue our quest to end such discrimination against men.

In fact, NCFM’s then President of NCFM Los Angeles, Marc Angelucci, Esq. in Angelucci v. Century Supper Club successfully argued that victims of discrimination should not have to ask for equal treatment to have a just claim. A position widely held by other civil rights groups including Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Southern California, Northern California, and San Diego & Imperial Counties.

Unruh is well established law. It is strong. And even protects men. NCFM members have played a pivotal roll in using Unruh to assure equal treatment for all of us.

Regardless, the media often ridicules our members for standing up for their rights.

Below is a segment of an article about an Unruh case recently filed against the Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team for charging only men for tickets to a game.

What is your opinion?

Harry Crouch

President, NCFM


‘Ladies night’ lawsuit targets Fresno Grizzlies baseball team. Plaintiffs seek $5 million”

By Bryant-Jon Anteola

Updated May 07, 2024 10:30 AM

Ladies Night at Chukchansi Park could end up costing the Fresno Grizzlies.

Maybe a lot of money.

Harry Crouch and Christine Johnson are suing Fresno’s minor league baseball team for holding a “ladies night” promotion that allowed females free admission to a game last year.

The plaintiffs claim the promotion was blatant gender discrimination and violated a civil rights act.

Seem like a frivolous lawsuit?

Maybe not.

Alfred Rava, the San Diego-based lawyer representing Crouch and Johnson, has won or settled past lawsuits related to similar promotions. Most notably, Rava helped clients reach a $500,000 settlement with the Oakland A’s from a 2009 Mother’s Day promotion.

Fresno-based lawyer Todd Barsotti, who has been involved in some high-profile, gender-discrimination cases in the past himself but has no connections to lawsuit against the Grizzlies, said he believes the plaintiffs have a valid lawsuit.

“I’m sure the Grizzlies had good intentions,” Barsotti said when asked to provide an objective, legal analysis of the lawsuit that the baseball franchise is facing. “But you have to be real careful with things that can seem like discrimination.

“I think the Grizzlies should have run this promotion through counsel before they did that. California is a litigious state and very, very progressive.”

Rava’s clients are seeking $5 million in damages.

Gender discrimination at baseball game?

The Grizzlies did not return messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

In the court filings, Crouch and Johnson claimed they attended a Grizzlies game on May 25, 2023, when a Ladies Night promotion was held at Chukchansi Park.

Crouch paid $18 for his ticket; Johnson received a ticket that allowed her to sit next to Crouch for free.

The plaintiffs claim the Grizzlies’ promotion violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides protection from discrimination by all business establishments in California, including housing and public accommodations.

The protections are to prevent people from being discriminated against because of their age, ancestry color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

Crouch, the lead plaintiff, is President for the National Coalition for Men, which claims to be a civil rights group that “aims to address the ways sex and discrimination affects men and boys.”

In addition, Rava has built much of his career on gender-bias fights.

Rava told NBC 7 San Diego in 2018 that he’s been involved in 300 lawsuits he viewed as gender discrimination-based. He also claimed to have a 100% win rate regarding cases brought under the state’s Unruh Act, according to a Times of San Diego story in 2017.

Rava did have at least one high-profile lawsuit ruling against his favor when in 2007 an Orange County judge stated that the Los Angeles Angels did not discriminate against men when they provided free tote bags to women in a Mother’s Day promotion.

Rava did not return messages left with his office.

He previously told KSEE 24:

“The Fresno Grizzlies’ ill-conceived ‘Ladies Night’ promotion seemingly sexualized female fans by treating them as little more than sexual bait in order to attract men to buy tickets to the game. In doing so, the Grizzlies’ male-dominated front office managed to pull of a rare trifecta of sex discrimination – misogyny, exorsexism, and misandry all at once – by treating female, nonbinary, and male fans unequally based solely on their gender.”

Read the rest at:

This case was picked up by other media, see:

national coalition for men

NCFM President Harry Crouch, Ladies Night

(and the Fresno Grizzlies)

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