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A man who wanted to be the first person to run nude across a newly opened stadium in Perth, Australia, was fined $5,000 for pulling the stunt, but has already raised $5,415 on GoFundMe to pay the bill.
“For a couple days, I was just saying, ‘Look I wanted to be the first streaker at Optimus Stadium. I really want that title,'” 23-year-old plumber Ben Jenkins told 9 News in Australia. He was there for the opening Cricket match at the brand new multiple million-dollar stadium and when he saw his opportunity he took it. He wrote his girlfriend’s number on his arm so he could call her from jail, handed his wallet and phone to a friend, then took off his clothes and ran onto the field.
“I sat there for a long time, I was looking at every security guard and the path I was going to take and I was just thinking, ‘I really don’t want to do this anymore,'” he said. “But peer pressure won. When the time was ripe and the clothes came off, there was no turning back.”
Jenkins is a former soccer player, and as you can see from the video, he gave security quite the workout before finally giving himself up. After evading a few tackles he turns and holds his hands out in what appears to be the universal “Okay you got me, put on the handcuffs,” gesture, but an enraged security guard decided he’d rather tackle the naked man by the neck.
“They probably need to get some better security guards down there I reckon,” said Jenkins. “If I didn’t hand myself in I’d probably still be running around now.”
“I think it’s dangerous, it’s a dangerous practice, no one likes that sort of thing,” Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna told WA Today. Although you wouldn’t know that from the 54,000 fans cheering Jenkins on, and booing loudly when he was tackled.
Cricket Australia has banned Jenkins from all matches for the next three years and fined him $5,000, and while there’s not much he can do about the former, the latter seems all taken care of. His GoFundMe page, which features the simple description “Hoping the good people of Western Australia can throw a couple bucks my way to help pay my 5000 dollar fine,” has now passed its initial goal, and raised $5,415 in less than 48 hours.
Many people wrote messages of support on the page, praising the action as good-natured fun.
“Was there – you gave us all such a laugh! Hope they didn’t hurt you with that neck tackle.” wrote one person.
“West Australian of the year !!” said another.
But not everyone was so happy with Jenkins exploits, or the money he raised.
“I’d rather give $10 or $20 to a needy kid who’s starving hungry,” said one commenter “The money that has been raised here should be taken away from you and given to charity and you should have to pay the entire fine plus costs out of your own damn pocket.”
In case you’re wondering, England ended up winning the cricket match, beating the Australians by twelve runs.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.