Hall of Famer George Brett still lives in Kansas City for most of the year and he probably signs about 5 billion autographs a year for Royals fans and others. He's probably nice to most of the people who ask. All but one guy, at least, who recently surreptitiously videotaped a confrontation with Brett at Kansas City's airport. In the video, Brett uses some salty language — not necessarily in the (NSFW) way we're used to hearing him use salty language — but he's quite harsh on an autograph hound named Brandon Farrens.
Farrens contacted KCTV 5 in Kansas City, which cleaned up his video, which had been posted unedited on YouTube. It's also Not Safe For Work. It looks like a complete set-up designed to make Brett look bad. Here's a transcribed excerpt:
"If I ever see you (expletive) again, I'm going to shoot your (expletive) ass, do you understand?" Brett says.
Farrens then uses an expletive before pleading with Brett. But as Brett is walking away, Farrens calls him an "a*****e." Brett then appears to walk back Farrens. The 17-second video then abruptly ends.
Farrens said he has asked for Brett's signature about 35 times and gotten it about 15 times. He does consider himself an autograph collector and admits that he has sold Brett's autographs before.
"All he had to say was, 'no' or ignore me," Farrens told KCTV5 over the phone early Thursday morning.
KCTV5 attempted to speak with Brett Wednesday night. Toby Cook, spokesman for the Royals, said Brett regrets using a poor choice of words and the tone of the encounter. He said Brett was tired from his flight.
However, Cook said Brett does not regret the message. Brett claims that the autograph hound has gotten numerous autographs from the Royals great, which the fan has then sold, and Brett is tired of the man's relentless demands and behavior. Brett just wants the man to leave him alone.
And then there's this:
Court records in Missouri indicate that in 2011 a protection order was sought against Farrens but the details of those records have been sealed.
The protection order might have nothing to do with Brett, or autograph seeking. But it makes Farrens look bad, no matter what it's for. If you're going to repeatedly make money off someone else's signature, you risk having the famous person tell you to go away in impolite terms at some point. Remember the guy who tried painting Gary Carter in a similar way? Guys like that, and Farrens, are not doing otherwise harmless signature seekers any favors here.
We don't know the entire story — all we have is partial video of the most recent meeting — but we know enough to understand Brett's side of it. Farrens should go away, like Brett asked him to.
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