The 17-year-old kid who invaded the Rogers Centre field on Tuesday night wasn’t drunk or on drugs. According to him, the streaking incident was a major strike off his bucket list.
The streaker who ran across the Rogers Centre field on Tuesday night quickly became something of an overnight internet sensation. His story has received extensive coverage from Sports Illustrated, NESN, and even a retweet by Drake (whose song, “The Motto,” may have had something to do with the “YOLO” sign painted across the streaker’s chest).
We often assume streakers are drunk to the point of near-insanity and that they must, at heart, be level-headed citizens who will never live down the shame of their brief, bare, Budweiser-fuelled misadventure. But it turns out the YOLO streaker was totally sober when he jumped the fence. That’s largely because he isn’t old enough to buy beer—he’s a 17-year-old high school student from Waterloo, Ontario.
The way he tells it, his dash across the Rogers Centre turf marked the achievement of a lifelong dream. He talked to The Grid about the homemade shorts he designed for the occasion, what happens to streakers once they’re escorted off the field, and just how much trouble he’s in.
So, first of all, are you alright?
Just a couple scratches and bruises, that’s about it. Nothing bad.
And you’re no longer in jail.
Yeah, yeah, I was out within a couple hours.
From the “YOLO” sign on your chest, it seemed like your streaking incident wasn’t an impulsive decision. Had you planned it out in advance?
Yes, that’s true.
Why did you decide to do it?
“You only live once?”
Is that it? Is that your whole explanation?
I don’t know, it’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I just thought I’d get it over with. I thought it would be a good opportunity. I had a couple of friends supporting me so I just thought, “Why not?”
What is it about streaking that appeals to you?
It’s just fun. I’ve seen it happen at the European Cup, the World Cup, baseball games. I always used to joke with buddies or [my] parents, saying that was going to be me at some point. They’d always [say], “Oh, you’ll never have the balls to do that.” So I guess I was proving them wrong.
Were you nervous?
Yeah, I was. When I was sitting at the gate before I hopped the fence, I was so nervous. I was scared, I couldn’t even think straight. I was just hoping to get it over with.
And why “YOLO”?
I just thought it was appropriate in that context. I thought it suited the moment. It’s been a joke between a bunch of friends, so I just thought, might as well put “YOLO” on my chest while I’m running.
Were you shy about having 26,000 people seeing you in a Speedo?
I didn’t really care. It’s a one-time thing, I just thought it would be fun. I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know it would cause this much of a commotion, with all the articles, the pictures and the videos. I didn’t know it would blow up to the extent that it did.
How did you choose the outfit?
It was a last-minute thing. I was going to go with a Borat thong to begin with, but I decided to keep it a little more family-friendly with the Speedo. I figured the Chuck Taylors were a classic, with the high socks. I got a few friends to help me out with [the painted YOLO sign].
So when the time came to hit the ground running, what happened?
I was sitting close to the home-run wall, right beside the foul line. I knew that I just had to do it. So I hopped the fence when I thought the opportunity was there, and I started running. About 15-20 metres in, I started to take my clothes off.
How did you do that so quickly?
[The pants] were tear-aways that I made myself with tape. I basically taped my shorts together so that way I could tear them off real quick.
So you jump the fence. What’s going through your head?
Run. That’s all I could think, was just run. Don’t get tackled. My adrenaline was pumping, I don’t even remember what was going through my mind, other than just run. I honestly didn’t think I would last that long. I would have been happy with maybe lasting about 10-15 seconds, but then once I got away from the security guard the first couple times and I realized how far I was actually going to make it, I was kind of surprised, but I just sort of went with it.
My original plan was to try and slide into home plate, but when I started to make my way over, I saw there were cops coming towards me and surrounding me so I knew that wasn’t an option. Before I even started streaking, I knew that the result would be me getting tackled and arrested.
What did they say when they had you pinned to the ground?
A lot of mean things! I’ve never been called that many mean things. They weren’t exactly nice to me, nor did I deserve respect from them. I’m sure you can imagine.
What happens to a streaker once they’re removed from the field?
They took me through the back part of the stadium, towards the interrogating room, or whatever room it was. A room in the basement of the Rogers Centre. They asked me a whole bunch of questions: why I did it, whether or not I was a troublemaker, and what I plan on doing after high school. I told them university. They told me I would be banned from the stadium for a full year.
And when they asked why you did it, what did you say?
I told them the same thing I told you, it was just something that was on my bucket list. They weren’t exactly buying the whole “YOLO” excuse, so I had to give them something.
At any point, did you ever feel any regret?
It is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but at the same time, I do want to apologize to the Rogers Centre and the Blue Jays. It wasn’t exactly a smart thing to do. I’m not too proud of it.
When someone who’s very drunk invades the field at a sporting event, they can claim they weren’t thinking straight. Is it different for you because you had it pre-planned?
The cops thought I was crazy. The first thing they asked me as soon as we exited the ballpark was if I’d been drinking or if I was under the influence of any drugs. I told them no, and they immediately thought I was crazy, because they [thought] nobody in their right mind would do anything so stupid.
The NESN story about the incident called you “an idiot.”
That’s pretty accurate. If I could go back, I don’t know if I’d do it again. It is something I wanted to do for a while, but at the same time, I am sorry. What’s done is done.
Will you be facing any further legal consequences?
They took mug shots, fingerprints, the whole nine yards. They kept me in a holding cell until my parents got to the station. [But] nothing has been decided yet. In about a month, I’ll have a court date and they’ll decide there. Right now, I think, the possible charges are for public mischief.
What did your parents say?
They weren’t exactly too happy. [Laughs]
Do you think you’ll be grounded?
“Grounded” is sort of an understatement.