A required element of any sport is competition. There are times, however, that competitiveness can get out of hand, especially in recreational kickball. On August 6, the South Carolina teams, “Recreational Hazard” and the “Toe Jammers” went toe to toe for a grueling eight innings before the tension rose to an incredible high. A disputed call at home plate resulted in a debate between player, Michael Lockliear and umpire, Graylnn Moran Jr. A couple of days later, the umpire received a text message from his supervisor, stating that a third party no longer wanted Moran to officiate games, and was therefore terminated from his position. Moran has since filed a lawsuit, claiming slander, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with a contract.
Moran is suing Lockliear, who happens to be the mayor of Moncks Corner, South Carolina. In the game in August, the pair were arguing over a call made against Lockliear’s son, who was tagged out right before crossing home plate. Lockliear argued with the umpire, stating that his son was safe, and he was only hit after running past the bag. Moran warned Lockliear that he, as the mayor, was representing the town and should calm down. Lockliear allegedly stated that he owned the town and threatened Moran’s position in future games. Based on what was said during the altercation, as well as the events leading to the argument, Moran claims Lockliear is the unidentified third party responsible for getting him fired.
Lockliear has stated that even if his child was not the one whom was called out at home plate, he would have still argued with the umpire. He is, however, maintaining his innocence and is adamant that while he is a competitive kickball player, he did not enforce his influence as a member of public office in getting Moran fired. Due to the timeline of events, however, it is apparent that the instance on the kickball field was the direct cause of Moran’s termination. Moran can no longer participate as an umpire, a job which earned him $1,200 a season. Due to Lockliear’s poor sportsmanship, Moran is moving forward with a lawsuit and is seeking compensation.