Marlins Man says Royals violated Americans with Disabilities Act by blocking elevators

Marlins Man, aka Laurence Leavy, snapped a selfie with children from Trailwood Elementary School in 2015.
Marlins Man, aka Laurence Leavy, snapped a selfie with children from Trailwood Elementary School in 2015. Star file

Laurence Leavy, better known by his Twitter moniker Marlins Man, believes the Royals are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act for fans who sit in the Crown Club seats at Kauffman Stadium.

Leavy, who rose to fame by wearing orange Miami Marlins gear to 2014 World Series games at Kauffman Stadium, was in Kansas City earlier this week. He was promoting the John V. Mesh Memorial Scholarship, which is named after a firefighter killed in the line of duty. Leavy attended two of the Royals-Rays games while he was in town.

After Monday’s contest, Leavy left the Crown Club seats and entered a lobby near the clubhouses at Kauffman Stadium, where he allegedly was told by a Royals employee to use a stairwell instead of one of the two elevators.

At the conclusion of a game, one elevator is available only to media members who need to get from the pressbox on Level 6 to the first level for manager Ned Yost’s news conference. That elevator makes two express runs for media members and usually is unavailable for five minutes, the Royals said. The other elevator makes stops at all seven levels, so it can be a long delay before one gets to the first level.

Fans coming from the Crown Club seats are usually told there will be a wait for the elevators and it might be faster to climb the stairs to Level 3, which leads to the parking lots.

But Leavy contends that in the four years he’s been attending games at Kauffman Stadium, he’s always been told not to wait for an elevator. He said that was the case again Monday when he claims both elevators were used exclusively for media.

“They do not let you stand there and wait,” Leavy said. “They had you go to the stairwell, saying hurry up go to the stairs. You can’t block this area.”

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Leavy, who believes this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, told The Star that he once helped a 90-year-old woman up the stairs at Kauffman. Leavy says he has screws in his left foot and is not supposed to climb stairs, but he did as instructed and the next day he was “really sore.” He also attended the Royals game on Tuesday, but ignored instructions and took the elevator.

Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president of publicity, said standard procedure is for one of the two elevators to be used as an express elevator for media at the conclusion of the game, but after a short period of time, it’s open for anyone to use.

While not aware of what may have transpired at those two games, Cook said, “I can say there is no way we are forcing people to use the stairs.”

"If someone tells us I can't use the stairs, (a team official) will point to an area and ask them to wait," Cook added.

Because Rustin Dodd of The Athletic posted on Twitter that Leavy was irate Tuesday night about the elevator situation, Leavy said he decided to speak up about being denied access to both elevators.

Leavy, a lawyer, lashed out on Twitter, and some fans said they had a similar experience, while others said there has never been a problem and praised the Royals making Kauffman Stadium accessible to people with disabilities.

“I just hope it’s changed the next time I’m there,” Leavy said.