Judge affirms NFL’s right to enforce fan code of conduct

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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.

18 responses to “Judge affirms NFL’s right to enforce fan code of conduct

  1. So uh… they can ask him to leave but if he refuses they can’t do anything about it? C’mon now.

  2. I’m amazed that adult human beings can’t
    behave and treat each other with respect. Having
    said that, I don’t blame the security guys for giving him the business. Behave like a goon, get treated like a goon.

  3. bleedgreen: no, they can ask him to leave and, if he doesn’t, call the police. They would stand there while security asked the fan again to leave, and if he didn’t, the police could remove him for trespassing.

    Only the police can forcibly do anything to anyone in America. Private security is NEVER the police.

  4. Kinda funny that the picture you use is of the 3 fat guys who sit in the “new” neutered dog pound in cleveland. These are the 3 “loyal” fans who gladly welcomed Oucho Stinco with open arms when he lept into Cleveland’s stands after scoring a touchdown against them. The new dog pound is so weak, a fan code of conduct needs to be issued to Browns fans NOT to root for the visiting team.

  5. If the stadiums want to practice getting their security guards up to speed, they should send them to Baltimore or Philly for practice- the two cities with the highest drunken-moron-loudmouth ratio.

  6. The judge was right to say the first amendment does not cover his screaming obscenities. The Supreme Court declared about 50 years ago that the first amendment doesn’t apply to profanities. in some cities (though rarely enforced, if ever) one can be arrested for “noise pollution” if they cuss in public.

  7. thebiblestudent says: Aug 11, 2011 6:37 PM

    “in some cities (though rarely enforced, if ever) one can be arrested for “noise pollution” if they cuss in public.”

    In Columbus, Ohio, it is illegal for stores to sell corn flakes on Sunday.

    In Burlingame, California, it is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds.

    In Waynesboro, Virginia, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag.

    So what was your point?

  8. Can’t believe I’m defending the Browns, but why pick on the Dawg Pound? It wasn’t one of their fans. And much as I despise police/security brutality … what should they do if an obnoxious fan refuses to leave? Is a cattle prod out of the question?

  9. These security guys will feel their oats now! Look out for a power struggle between the paying fan and the under paid guard.

  10. Part of the reason I don’t go to more games than I do is jerks like this. He should have been thrown out. I’m glad the judge affirmed NFL’s right to enforce fan code conduct. If your going to act like a moron stay home. It’s painful enough watching the Bengals without having to deal with these type of people.

  11. Sucks to be a security guard, cause you don’t know what you’re in for, but you basically are an assailant, even though you’re working. No private enterprise can really give you the right to force someone.

    Not a job I’d want to do, but not an authority I’d (I’ve) ever acknowledge either.

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