I'm going to use this thread to accumulate signatures for a petition against Steve Bernstein's unduly harsh ban.
Steve has been banned for two years by the DCI for "aggressive behavior" for his part in the incident at the WorldWake Prerelease in London. Andy Hedkt of Wizards/DCI: "Steve and Martin received 2 years for the single incident of violence because the information we made the decision upon clearly indicated both parties were at fault". It also figures into the additional year ban for his DQ in Rome (Andy Hedkt again): "Steve isn't banned for 3 years only because of this incident, though it does factor to most of the suspension length ... since the warning presented for his prior cheating DQ was such a short time ago."
The eyewitness reports aren't very detailed or in agreement with one another. Both parties had been drinking, Martin was taking Steve's cardboard boxes and crushing them, a glass was broken and Steve got cut. That's about the sum total that every statement agrees on.
On this evidence the DCI had to make a judgment. There was some kind of incident, someone got cut in the face by broken glass, there was drinking involved. You can see why a committee of people who don't know the parties involved might decide to issue lengthy bans.
However, we know Steve. We know he is not aggressive or violent. I've played in countless tournaments with him and love him or loathe him there is no question of him being aggressive or violent. He's actually extremely pacific.
Steve's initial 6 month ban at the Games Club was reduced to 3 months upon appeal to a jury of his peers. This kind of response seems far more reasonable than what the DCI have meted out. In my opinion this is because they have had to make the judgment with less knowledge than we have. I think we have a responsibility to make clear to them that what we know and that Steve's ban should be reduced.
For this reason I ask you to reply to this thread with the following information:
If you are uncomfortable supplying this information on a public forum please email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and reply to the thread with your name saying, "information supplied privately". Feel free to add a comment if you wish. Any other kind of response please start another thread - I will delete non-signatory replies on this thread.
Here's a short statement of what you are signing up for:
"I have played in Magic: the Gathering events with Steve Bernstein and he is not violent or aggressive. I appeal to the DCI to review and reduce or remove his ban for the incident that occurred at the WorldWake prerelease."