Welcome to the Unfriendly Confines.
The Chicago Cubs are not taking too kindly to an unauthorized furry mascot bringing joy to fans outside of Wrigley Field. For the last six years, John Paul Weier has donned a furry bear costume — complete with a Cubs jersey and hat — and strolled the streets outside of Wrigley Field, greeting fans on game day as a makeshift Cubs mascot named “Billy Cub.”
But the Cubs are one of three major league teams without a mascot — and they want to keep it that way.
“The Billy Cub characters are not affiliated with the Chicago Cubs,” team spokesman Julian Green said in a statement. “We have received complaints from fans, mistakenly believing ‘Billy Cub’ to be associated with the Cubs.”
To that end, the League sent Weier a 100-plus page letter, ordering him to stop wearing the Billy Cub costume, and engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities,” citing allegations of trademark infringement, according to NBC Chicago.
When Weier got the first warning to cease his activities as Billy Bear, he consulted a lawyer and decided to ignore it. The next day, Weier was confronted by a Cubs executive.
“Someone came up to me, very angry, and said, ‘did you not get our letter?’” Weier said.
The only problem for the Cubs executive was that Weier was in his Billy Cub costume, unable to speak or use verbal communication.
“[They said] what I was doing was not legal,” Weier said. “How they want me to cease immediately. And that they had been kicking around the idea of having a mascot, and I ever wanted to be considered for that job, I needed to quit doing Billy Cub right away.”
Weier said that the Cubs organization offered to buy him out for $15,000, if he agreed to sign over all rights to the character and stop performing outside the ballpark. He refused.
Watch all of Weier’s story in the video below.
Thumbnail via Facebook/Billy Cub