The New York Athletic Club is the most prestigious private sports club in the country. It was founded in 1868, costs $8,000 to join (plus $3,000 more every year), and has produced more than 230 Olympic medalists. And yet, even the hallowed halls of this architectural landmark aren't immune to good ol' fashioned fisticuffs when the moment strikes.

In the early hours of April 13, police were called to the club, responding to what one eyewitness calls a "ragematch":

It's tough to elaborate on it's epicness but I'll do my best. It started near the booths that are across from the bar, so everyone at the bar and not involved quickly got pushed towards the windows facing the park.

The brawl then expanded from the booths to the bar so no one could leave unless you wanted to to go through the lion's pit so we all just stood ( I eventually took a seat with Stephan and some girls) and watched it all unfold. It came in HOT.

Eventually, two people went to different hospitals with injuries and three rich bros from Nassau County were arrested and charged. Peter Doran, a 28-year-old, was charged with punching a 49-year-old guy in the face. Matthew O'Grady, 31 years old, was charged with assault on a 48-year-old guy. The third accomplice, 30-year-old Colin Drowica, was charged with menacing.

On top of all that, the president of the NYAC, one S. Colin Neill, just couldn't sit back and watch details of the brawl be made public. So he sent out a stern letter to the club's 8,500-plus members, reiterating that this simply won't stand, harumph.

Take a look here at the entire note. (It helps to read it, aloud preferably, in Stereotypical Rich Guy Voice.)

Dear Fellow Member,

You may have heard about the fight that occurred in the Tap Room late on the evening of Thursday, April 12th. I cannot state forcefully enough how abhorrent this event is to me, personally, and how contrary it is to the standards of decorum that we expect of our members and guests.

Appropriate action is being taken against all of those involved. Such conduct will not be tolerated at the New York Athletic Club.

Similarly, the distribution via the various social media of photographs and letters that are detrimental to the Club and its reputation will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of each and every member to protect and embellish the standing of the NYAC. Those who willfully attempt to undermine it will be subject to disciplinary action. The Club's constitution does not permit publicizing internal matters of the Club, or otherwise undermining the private nature of the Club.

Guests of the Club are introduced by members, who are at all times responsible for the conduct of any guests that they bring into the Club.

Incidents such as that of April 12th must never happen again. All appropriate measures are being taken to ensure that such is the case. Our reputation around the world has been built up over 144 years. Your Officers and Board will not tolerate the tarnishing of our reputation by such behavior and poor judgment.


S. Colin Neill,
New York Athletic Club

[New York Times]