John 3:16 Versus the Cincinnati Reds


June 17, 1997

John W. Whitehead
Founder and President


For Immediate Release
Press Contact:
Jim Knicely (757) 253-0026
Institute E-Mail: [email protected]

The Rutherford Institute Settles Aubrey Case With Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati – Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute assisted Reverend Guy Aubrey in reaching a final settlement with the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization over their refusal to allow him to display a religious sign. On June 5, U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Speigel entered an order dismissing the case as settled after the Reds, the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County paid to $20,000 to settle the case. Instead of keeping the money for his own personal use, Aubrey donated his part of the settlement to a church in Chichuahua, Mexico to buy land for a new sanctuary.

The case began on October 17, 1990 when Aubrey of Cleveland, Tenn., attempted to display a “John 3:16” banner during Game Two of the 1990 World Series between the Reds and the Oakland Athletics. Aubrey was told his sign was against Major League Baseball policy and was escorted out of Riverfront Stadium. The U.S. District Court ruled that the Reds’ policy of banning religious banners was vague and overbroad.

The Reds than changed their policy to permit only “baseball related” signs in 1993. Rev. Aubrey then brought a sign that read “Go Reds-John 3:16” to fit the regulations, but he was again thrown out. United States District Court Judge Speigel declared this policy unconstitutional. After initially banning all noncommercial signs and banners, the Reds rewrote their policy to permit fan signs without discrimination.

“This brings to a conclusion a several year battle with the City of Cincinnati and the Reds,” said Jim Knicely, one of The Rutherford Institute affiliate attorneys who handled the case, “to treat signs with a religious message on the same basis as any other message at the stadium.”

The Rutherford Institute is an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization specializing in the defense of religious liberty.


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Institute E-Mail: [email protected]

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