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Thursday, July 25 2013 3:42 PM EDT2013-07-25 19:42:15 GMT
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Hall of Famer George Brett says he regrets using inappropriate language with an autograph hound, but he said he was tired of dealing with the man that he considers a stalker.
The autograph collector said he will never again ask for Brett's autograph as a result of the encounter.
"I apologize for using foul language in a public place to a guy that's been stalking me for a long time," Brett told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com on Thursday.
Brandon Farrens said he was waiting to get Brett's autograph when the Royals great arrived at Kansas City International Airport on Wednesday. Farrens used his smartphone to record the encounter. The video was posted to YouTube later that evening.
Brett gave his autograph, but in a profanity-laced tirade indicated that it would be the last one that he would ever give the fan, who had previous run-ins with Brett.
"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 "asshole." 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.
"When you get 3,000 hits and you're one of the greatest players to play the game, it's kind of a big deal," he said.
Farrens 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 telephone. "I was not expecting to experience what I did yesterday . . . All it takes is an ignore or this might be a last time. . . . What he said was very uncalled for."
He said he is offended by KCTV5 calling him an autograph hound. He said he does make money off Kansas City celebrity signings through his business called Sports Ink, and has nothing to apologize for.
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.
KCTV5 was contacted by a man who claimed to be a friend of the autograph hound. He said he was upset by Brett's treatment, and wanted the video made public.
It has created a strong reaction on social media and received much coverage on sports-related websites.
Brett had flown into Kansas City for a gala at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night. The Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City honored Brett as the "Outstanding Kansas Citian of The Year 2013" at their Annual Gala Awards Dinner to be held on Nov. 6 in the Diamond Room at Kauffman Stadium.
Brett served part of the season as the Royals hitting coach, and remains a vice president with the club.
Because of the profanity in the video, KCTV5 removed those words. To see the original video posted to YouTube, click here.
Farrens' Facebook page is filled with pictures of him with celebrities including athletes like Dexter McCluster and Andrew Wiggins to musicians like Snoop Lion, the artist formally known as Snoop Dogg and Merle Haggard.
When Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid first arrived at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 4, Farrens was there to greet him and get Reid's autograph on two footballs.
Court records in Missouri indicate that in 2011 a protection order was sought against Farrens but the details of those records have been sealed.
Brett noted that he didn't know how Farrens managed to know when his plane would arrive at KCI and which terminal he would arrive into (KCI has three terminals that airlines serve).
"I've seen the guy on numerous occasions before and I've signed for him many times," Brett told Kaegel. "After a while, I got tired of signing for the same guy and told him, 'No more, I'm done with you.'"
He explained that Farrens first approached him while he was walking through the terminal, and he refused the request. He said that Farrens kept hounding him as he went to get his bags and pestered him once again when he was leaving the terminal.
"After he repeatedly came up, my temper was getting a little off and finally I did sign. And I told him, 'No more, I'm done. I never want to see you again. That's it.'"
He said he exchanged sharp words, but no physical contact occurred and that his threat to shoot Farrens "was a bad choice of words." He said he happily signed for a girl at the airport and signed for baggage personnel after a flight last week.
In the case of Farrens, it's about being greedy, Brett indicated to MLB.com.
"How many autographs do you need from the same person?" Brett asked.
Still he will moderate future encounters.
"Hopefully, I've learned a very valuable lesson," Brett said. "You can wake up in the morning and be in a good mood or you can wake up in the morning and be in a bad mood. This has made me want to wake up in the morning and be in a good mood every day."
Sporting KC's Jimmy Nielsen said he doesn't mind signing autographs even for those who then sell his John Hancock.
"I don't know what they do with it. You sign what they ask you to sign and they can do whatever they want with it," he said.
Royals great Frank White said he's had to turn down repeat autograph seekers like Farrens because of how they can become a nuisance.
KCTV5's Chris Oberholtz contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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Thursday, July 25 2013 3:42 PM EDT2013-07-25 19:42:15 GMT
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