Mitch Williams, former Phillies pitcher and former MLB Network employee, is suing the MLB Network and Deadspin for what he calls defamation, along with additional charges of breach of contract and wrongful termination with the MLB Network.
It all stems from Deadspin’s report on Williams’ alleged behavior at his kid’s Ripkin Baseball youth tournament where he reportedly got tossed from the tournament for going on a “profanity-laced” tirade, and a separate incident on video where he called the opposing team’s 10-year-old pitcher a “pussy” and ordered his pitcher to throw at the kid. Not great stuff. Williams alleges that after video of this incident arose, the MLB Network asked him to sign an agreement to no longer attend his children’s sporting events. When he refused, he says he was fired. Williams’ lawyer, in ultimate “my client is the victim here and it’s all the internet’s fault” lawyer-speak, said:
“There are people out there who love to bring down celebrities and the internet provides an incredibly easy and powerful forum to destroy a person’s reputation in an instant behind a veil of anonymity. When one’s reputation and livelihood are crushed by anonymous ‘sources’ it is absolutely devastating, but there are legal recourses available.”
There are, in fact, a small group of people out there who “love to bring down celebrities,” sure. Those people aren’t usually targeting Mitch Williams with video evidence though.