Chicago Cubs fans have donated thousands of dollars to an anti-domestic-violence charity after one woman voiced her frustrations when the team brought on a new pitcher.
Caitlin Swieca said she felt her love for the Cubs had been tested, when the team acquired Aroldis Chapman, who had been hit with a 30-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The former Yankees pitcher had been accused of choking his girlfriend.
“The guys on the team seem like pretty good guys,” Swieca said. “To bring Chapman in, who has more of a checkered past, was not easy to root for. I guess I was having a tough time reconciling those two things in my mind.”
Swieca expressed her frustration on Twitter, announcing she would donate $10 to a Chicago domestic violence organization every time Chapman got a save. Her tweet influenced hundreds of other Cubs fans to donate, too.
Now, the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic says it has received $11,000 in donations from Cubs fans.
"It's been really heartening to see the enthusiasm from Cubs fans," said Margaret Duval, executive director of the clinic. "The donors are from all over the country, from 21 states, from Australia and Canada, so we know there really are Cubs fans all over the world."
Attorney and Cubs fan Andrew Weisberg has already donated more than $600 during the regular season.
"I thought it kind of helped ease the guilt of watching the Cubs when he was pitching," Weisberg said.
Swieca says the response to her efforts has been overwhelming, "but also very inspiring to see how many other sports fans out there that do care and do want to make a difference."
The Chicago Cubs vice president of communications and community affairs, Julian Green, previously acknowledged Swieca's efforts in an emailed statement.
“We respect how our fans demonstrate their passion related to this organization and applaud Caitlin’s personal efforts to cheer on her favorite team while making a difference on such an important issue," Green said in the email. "As our chairman stated earlier this week, our franchise and Major League Baseball take this matter very seriously and continue to support efforts for education, awareness and intervention."