Fight over bocce club allowing women to play

Fight over bocce club allowing women to play

Posted: Updated:
Bocce ball controversy Bocce ball controversy
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

69-year-old John Bourbakis drove trucks filled with raw meat for 32 years. Now, he plays a lawn sport with plastic spheres for up to eight hours a day.

"Some players over here don't like the women to play with us," Bourbakis said.

"I have a lot of fights with them," former Brooklyn bocce champ Maria Manzola said of some of the men with whom Bourbakis plays. "I put up with a lot of garbage. The other morning I wanted to play. All of them went home."

Bourbakis plans to put a stop to that trend. He's running for president of Brooklyn's Marine Park bocce club on a platform of inclusion and equality.

"We don't want anybody to discriminate," he said.

But Bourbakis seems unlikely to run unopposed. A bloc of his constituents would like to block the progressive bocce-ball he's set into motion."

"I can't stop it," club member Ron Coehn said. "I don't like it. But I can't stop it."

Coehn says women make the game less competitive, but he still respects the opinions of his club-mates who disagree with him.

Not everyone in the club feels the same.

"I want nothing to do with this nonsense these people are perpetrating," one player said. "Nothing."

Leave it to a 28-century-old lawn sport to start a shouting match between retired men in the park.

"We're like brothers," Coehn said. "We're here all the time."

But Bourbakis sees those unwilling to welcome some sisters to the family as behind the bocce ball. He says the club needs new faces and genders to keep the courts maintained and the club alive.

"We don't want the organization to go down," Bourbakis said. "We want it to progress."

And so, with election season just three months away, in Marine Park Anthony Weiner's past seems an afterthought to the bocce ball's future.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:20 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:20:15 GMT
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City was at the center of a forum held Thursday at City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders attended the round-table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City was at the center of a forum held Thursday at City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders attended the round-table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
  • Arrest in attack on teen in elevator

    Arrest in attack on teen in elevator

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:24 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:24:13 GMT
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
    Police have arrested one of two suspects wanted in the brutal attack of a teenager inside her apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. The thugs were caught on security camera footage beating the 18-year-old at about 9:34 on Sunday night. The attackers are seen dragging the girl out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her. Tyler Hopping, 18, was arrested on Wednesday.
  • NYC subway report card

    NYC subway report card

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:09:16 GMT
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices