A Chicago Cubs fan is donating to an anti-domestic abuse charity every time the team’s pitcher, Aroldis Chapman, makes a save.
Caitlin Swieca said she felt her love for the Cubs had been tested, when the team acquired 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.
“People who are conflicted like that can sometimes get drowned out in the sports by people who only want to watch the game. I was definitely surprised in a good way,” she said.
Swieca donated to the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, where Executive Director Margaret Duval says the donation, along with several others, was a big benefit.
“I think she and her fellow fans making those donations are counteracting that message that the Cubs sent with this trade,” Duval said.
Caitlin’s tweets have helped the clinic raise nearly $2,000 in just six days.
“This money, that is typically very costly … to raise for nonprofits, this is money that has appeared without a whole lot of effort for us and that is really wonderful,” Duval said.
The Chicago Cubs vice president of communications and community affairs, Julian Green, 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."