I guess if you think about it, all sports writers have to be stalkers on some level; whether it’s waiting outside a locker room to speak with athletes after a game or placing phone call after phone call trying to confirm a trade or player release, there’s a fine line between “dedicated reporter” and “needs a restraining order.” But the VANCOUVER SUN says that one reporter for a major Spanish-language newspaper may have gone blasting through that line.
Vancouver police (or as they are called in Canada, “police“) have arrested Roger Francisco Grinolds, a freelance soccer writer for the daily newspaper Deportes Hoy (Sports Today in English), in connection with a series of incidents involving women at SkyTrain stations around the city going back to 2007. Grinolds also was involved in youth soccer, having served as team leader officer of Uruguay U-20 for the FIFA Youth World Cup Canada 2007, where he scheduled field practices, special events and media communications for the players.
While details are somewhat sketchy, Grinolds has been charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of uttering threats, and one count each of assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and aggravated assault, meaning that he probably did more than whistle at them while shouting “mama cita!”
Grinolds had been living in Vancouver while covering the Vancouver Whitecaps minor-league soccer team for Deportes Hoy. The director of the publication said that he considered Grinolds to be “pleasant and thoughtful,” and I’m sure that if the allegations are true, he was very polite and kind as he verbal harassed and robbed the defenseless women.
Of course, if he does Spanish-language soccer, perhaps he just shouted “GOALLL!!!” at the women until they gave him money to shut up.