After a Kansas City fan was forcibly removed from a Chargers-Chiefs game in San Diego, the fan filed suit, saying the force had been unnecessary and the NFL’s fan code of conduct violated the fan’s First Amendment rights. Now a judge has agreed with the fan in one respect, but disagreed in another.
Superior Court Judge Gale Kaneshiro ruled that the fan was subject to the NFL code of conduct and that it was appropriate for the Chargers’ security to tell him to leave for using obscenities and flashing his middle finger.
Kaneshiro also noted, however, that the fan hadn’t committed a crime, and said security went too far by forcibly pulling him into a stadium tunnel and using “pain techniques” rather than simply asking him to leave.
The fan had been charged with misdemeanor battery for punching and biting a security guard, but the judge threw that charge out, saying he was merely defending himself against overzealous security.
So if you’re planning on shouting some obscenities at an NFL game this year, stadium security is allowed to tell you to leave. But they’re not allowed to rough you up in the process.