Fan loses effort to wear Packers gear at Chicago on Sunday

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Free speech, as it turns out, isn’t. At least not yet.

A Packers fan who owns Bears season tickets has been denied the right to wear green and gold on the sidelines at Sunday’s game between the NFC North rivals, as part of a promotion for season-ticket holders. Russell Beckman, who filed after being denied the right to wear Packers gear during 2016, failed in his effort to secure a preliminary injunction allowing him to support the team as he sees fit, while the lawsuit proceeds.

He hasn’t lost the case; instead, the judge found that he wasn’t entitled to a change in the status quo until the case is resolved in his favor, if it ever is resolved in his favor.

“The Judge today said the parties’ arguments to the Court were essentially a tie ball,” attorney Michael R. Lieber said in a statement. “But a tie ball goes to the home team at this juncture. This case is in its early stages. As we proceed through discovery, we expect that the facts will show that the Bears are so entwined with a public entity — the Chicago Park District — that the Bears must uphold all Soldier Field patrons’ First Amendment rights. And that includes fans of opposing teams.”

Judge Joan B. Gottschall issued a 21-page ruling explaining the decision. She found that Beckman “made a fairly modest showing that he is likely to succeed in demonstrating that the Bears” are subject to the First Amendment as a state entity. Based on the various factors that determine whether a party can secure what essentially is an advance on a victory before actually winning in court, she decided that Beckman must wait while the wheels of justice continue to churn.

The fact that he’s gotten this far is already a win. Judge Gottschall already has rejected an effort by the Bears to dismiss the case entirely. The case will now proceed, and Beckman will have to leave his cheesehead in the car, if he wants to have access to the sideline.

47 responses to “Fan loses effort to wear Packers gear at Chicago on Sunday

  1. I dislike the packers more than any other team in any other sport, but if this guy spent that kind of money for season tickets, then he should be able to wear any jersey he wants. By the sounds of it, he basically got season tickets to go to one game a year, so it’s his right. The bears are wrong on this one.

  2. George Costanza would pony up and wear the gear and get kicked out. Like dragged out screaming and grabbing at peoples legs. That’s really the only solution here.

  3. As much as the owners gouge the Average Joe at the stadium, you would think you’d be allowed to wear whatever you want.
    Just another reason to stay home and watch the games on TV.

  4. Are they gonna tell season ticket holders they can only drink beer brewed in Chicago next? As long as what he wears isn’t disgustingly offensive or physically harming anyone, who gives a turkey?

  5. If teams are able to gift sideline passes and I’m asking because I don’t know,the Packers ought to do him a solid by doing so.
    He can be on the sideline as a guest of the Packers.
    It’s common enough in college football. They just make the guests stay in a certain area.
    I was at the Temple homecoming game and saw a few NFLers that played for Temple in that area.

    Then make a big deal about it in the press.

  6. When fans spend money to gain entry to the stadium they should be able to wear whatever they like as long as it isn’t in bad taste or offensive…especially since ticket prices are ridiculous. They may not like it but I think the Bears are going to lose this one.

  7. At the end of the day under the contract that the Bears have for the event it is considered private property during that event. Follow the rules or get out. I don’t care if you were there for free or you were so stupid as to pay for tickets.
    Private property trumps the First Amendment.

  8. Whether or not the Bears lose in court they lose. To even argue this point makes them look insecure and petty. The right way to handle it would have been to say nothing, just shrug and go on sbout their business of doing all they can to bury the guys team right in front of him.

  9. Very petty. Do the Bears think this will help them win on Sunday? Now they’ll lose for sure.

  10. To be fair, no one is stopping him from wearing his packers gear during the game or at his seat. He wants to wear it on the field during a pre game warm up event for Bears fans who are season ticket holders.

  11. meet2x4 says:

    As long as what he wears isn’t disgustingly offensive…
    ###

    Have you seen a Packer fan in a Packer jersey and cheesehead? That is disgustingly offensive…

  12. whenwilliteverend says:

    When fans spend money to gain entry to the stadium they should be able to wear whatever they like…
    ###

    No one is stopping him from wearing his Packer gear in the seat or any of the normal public areas of the stadium.

    He is being denied access to the sidelines – a special restricted access area of the stadium.

    He’s just trying to be an ass towards the home team.

  13. I could care less, let the guy on the field. I’m sure there is some part of this story that we don’t know about that isn’t contained anywhere accessible online. Either way, let’s all move on and don’t forget to thank the Obama administration for starting the destruction of the 1st amendment, the 2nd amendment, and so on….

  14. goatherder has no dog in this fight whatsoever. He just likes to pick fights.

    Show me the printed rule book that says this special sideline group comprised of Bears season ticket holders must wear Bears gear. What if he wore Bulls or Blackhawks gear? He’d get kicked out? If they decided on that specific day to make an arbitrary decision against this confirmed Bears season ticket holder because their feelings were hurt………sue the snot out of them.

  15. Russell, if you have that kind of money to support the Chicago Bears by purchasing season tickets to basically go to one game a year that matters to you then you for sure can afford to purchase Packer season tickets and drive to Green Bay for their 8 home games. Packer fans I thought were one of a kind until Trump became president and now I see that Packer and Trump fans are very similar in their thinking. Obvious can smack them in the face and they will still deny it. A friend becomes a foe really quick when they quit supporting you (see Brett Favre) and all the people that have been shown the door out of the White House. I do not think any team in any sport should allow a season ticket holder when being presented with a honor like being on the field, court or diamond where the opposing teams colors. Last Christmas Eve my family attended the Bears vs Browns game in Chicago and my wife is a Browns fan. We did not have any problem with her not being able to wear her Browns stocking cap while on the field holding the Bear Down flag. Got to our seats and she put it on. No problem. Grow Up Russell.

  16. One more thing. Bears should just rescind his season tickets for gross in subornation and wait a half second and that ticket would then be sold losing no money.

  17. it is sort of amusing that people who got their J.D. by watching an hour of Fox and Friends have strong views on this,

    The reality is that it is a complex issue.

    If this was a privately owned stadium, there would be no issue. The Bears could do as they please.

    However, since the Chicago Park District owns Soldier Field, Judge Gottschall needs to decide if the Bears rental of the stadium grants the Bears the right to deny free speech.

    Are the Bears acting as a governmental body when they limit speech? If not, they can do as the please.

    Beyond that, if the speech is protected, is there a compelling reason (in this case, fear of violence) that would allow the Bears to limit speech?

    Judge Gottschall is an outstanding judge. I’ve been before her countless times. If this was as easy as some of you seem to believe, she long ago would have disposed of the case.

  18. stellarperformance says:

    December 14, 2018 at 10:57 am

    goatherder has no dog in this fight whatsoever. He just likes to pick fights.

    Show me the printed rule book that says this special sideline group comprised of Bears season ticket holders must wear Bears gear. What if he wore Bulls or Blackhawks gear? He’d get kicked out? If they decided on that specific day to make an arbitrary decision against this confirmed Bears season ticket holder because their feelings were hurt………sue the snot out of them.

    When a fan is going to be involved with anything on the field you must sign a release that clearly states that no opposing teams anything will be allowed to be worn during this event. Had to sign this myself so I know. Had no problem with it.

  19. wyboemail says:
    December 14, 2018 at 11:25 am
    When a fan is going to be involved with anything on the field you must sign a release that clearly states that no opposing teams anything will be allowed to be worn during this event. Had to sign this myself so I know. Had no problem with it.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    OK…….then the guy should shut up and wear it after he returns to his seat. IF it says as you say. (I’d have to see it.)

  20. atthemurph says:
    December 14, 2018 at 10:43 am

    THE bears STILL SUCK!

    ______________

    No they don’t, they’re in first place cheese brain.

    Why are Packer fans so easily triggered? Oh that’s right they’re Packer fans.

  21. wyboemail says:
    December 14, 2018 at 11:25 am
    When a fan is going to be involved with anything on the field you must sign a release that clearly states that no opposing teams anything will be allowed to be worn during this event. Had to sign this myself so I know. Had no problem with it.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    The plot thickens. He was not required to sign anything. There are “privilege credits” earned (somehow) by Bears season ticket holders. This enables certain ticker holders an opportunity to stand on the sidelines during warm ups. This guy has participated in this privilege twice previously, wearing Packer gear, without any issues. Then, last year, he received a letter stating he would not be allowed to wear his preferred mode of dress. That’s it. That sounds very arbitrary, and precedent had been established.

    Besides, it’s not like the Bears are playing the Raiders and he shows up wearing Packer gear. It’s Bears-Packers week! It’s not odd to see Packer gear in Chicago this week.

    This is very petty of the Bears.

  22. vikingf0rlife says:
    December 14, 2018 at 11:37 am
    No they don’t, they’re in first place cheese brain. Why are Packer fans so easily triggered? Oh that’s right they’re Packer fans.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    So why are you here?

    You’re missing the point. It’s a running joke. It doesn’t matter if the Bears win a SuperBowl or if they’re in first place……they STILL suck. Get it? Einstein?

    BTW……I do not personally subscribe to this “joke,” but at least I understand it.

  23. stellarperformance says:
    December 14, 2018 at 11:52 am
    vikingf0rlife says:
    December 14, 2018 at 11:37 am
    No they don’t, they’re in first place cheese brain. Why are Packer fans so easily triggered? Oh that’s right they’re Packer fans.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    So why are you here?

    You’re missing the point. It’s a running joke. It doesn’t matter if the Bears win a SuperBowl or if they’re in first place……they STILL suck. Get it? Einstein?

    BTW……I do not personally subscribe to this “joke,” but at least I understand it.

    ______________________________________

    Why are you here? Guys! The Packers STILL SUCK, it doesn’t matter if its Favre, Brett Starr or that pathetic cry baby diva, the Packers STILL SUCK.

    Do you get now Stellar, this is exactly how stupid you sound explaining the “so called” running joke that doesn’t even make sense.

    BTW…aren’t you the one Packer fan always ranting about your “mutual” respect for the Bears? Pretty hypocritical pal.

  24. Figures a story about the Packers and Bears is full of Viking fans. You guys mad because your team doesn’t have the storied history and trophy cases of either of these great franchises?

  25. The Packers STILL SUCK says:
    December 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    BTW…aren’t you the one Packer fan always ranting about your “mutual” respect for the Bears? Pretty hypocritical pal.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Yeah, that’s me, and I just explained I don’t subscribe to the “joke.” How is that hypocritical? Plus, I’ve been a fan of the Bears since I was a kid……just as soon as the Packers are no longer in-contention.

    I can explain a lot, but I can’t help with your reading comprehension skills. Bear up!

  26. WolfgangVomFramps says:

    Stellar, rather than blaming other for alleged lack of comprehension, you should look in the mirror and ask why you are unable to coherently communicate your ideas.
    ###

    Don’t confuse Stella with the facts. She’s too busy picking fights.

  27. WolfgangVomFramps says:
    December 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    Stellar, rather than blaming other for alleged lack of comprehension, you should look in the mirror and ask why you are unable to coherently communicate your ideas.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    My idea? This thread isn’t my idea.

  28. This is ridiculous, let the guy on the field.

    The Viking/Packer fan banter never ceases – no matter what day of the week is….

    For the record, I am familiar with stellarperformance and can confirm he is always a good sport when it comes to the Bears/Packers rivalry and seems to be a classy fan. Some of you other guys on here have way too much time on your hands.

    Go Bears!!!

  29. cheeseisfattening says:
    December 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm
    I bet if the Bears offered him a free bowl of poutine he’d drop his lawsuit

    —————-

    I don’t recall the article mentioning that this fan was Canadian.

  30. diveleft says:
    December 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm
    Just another annoying Packer fan who thinks he is privileged just because he is a Packer fan.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I’m delighted you get annoyed. Any Viking trolls that come to a Packer/Bear thread for the purpose of fight-picking, deserves everything they get.

  31. stellarperformance says:
    December 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    diveleft says:
    December 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Just another annoying Packer fan who thinks he is privileged just because he is a Packer fan.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I’m delighted you get annoyed. Any Viking trolls that come to a Packer/Bear thread for the purpose of fight-picking, deserves everything they get.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    Not annoyed. Just pointing out the facts.

  32. cheeseisfattening says:
    December 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    So you’re saying you have never been to Wisconsin

    —————–

    Poutine is as Canadian as it gets. Which means it’s a lot closer to Minnesota than Wisconsin, given you guys are practically part of Canada all the way up there already.

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