11/20/2014 11:47AM

Controversial newsletter publisher Musselman sues to have Churchill ban lifted

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Eddie Musselman, the publisher of the controversial newsletter “Indian Charlie,” has filed a lawsuit seeking a judgment that would keep Churchill Downs from enforcing a ban that denies him access to the grounds, according to court records.

The suit, filed Nov. 18 in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky., names both Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as defendants, even though the ban is being solely enforced by Churchill under the track’s right to exclusion. Courts generally have upheld a track’s right to exclude any individual from its grounds as long as the ban is not based on protected criteria such as race or religion.

Musselman has been banned from Churchill since late June after getting into a fistfight with the trainer Dale Romans and his partner, Tammy Fox. Several months earlier, his newsletter was banned by many racetracks and sales companies after he wrote a racist item implying pets were not safe on backstretches of U.S. racetracks because Mexican workers would eat them.

In his suit, Musselman says the ban at Churchill has affected his newsletter’s business because he needs access to backstretches to collect information and distribute the sheet, which also is available on the Internet. The suit calls the ban by Churchill a violation of his right to due process.