Green Bay fan sues over Bears' sideline ban on Packers gear
20 June, 2017, 13:36 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
CHICAGO - A Green Bay fan is making a federal case out of a dispute with the Chicago Bears, filing a lawsuit accusing the rival team of violating his free-speech rights by prohibiting him from wearing Packers apparel at Bears' pregame warm-ups.
"It sounds made up". Beckman tells Crain's that he believes the restriction is illegal because Soldier Field is a publicly-owned stadium.
His 10-page suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Friday, seeks a court order lifting the ban. "I love Soldier Field and I love the rivalry", Beckman said in a phone interview. There, lifelong Green Bay Packers fan Ryan Holtan-Murphy married Marie Packer.
Beckman lives in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, near the IL state line and holds Bears seasons tickets.
Russell Beckman, a Racine County native and a season ticket holder for both the Packers and the Bears, used a rewards points program for season ticket holders to get on-field access at Soldier Field before the December 18, 2016 Green Bay-Chicago game.
"Honestly, we were blown away, and so was everyone at the wedding once they saw the final product", said Zalovick, who has been a Packers fan since age 5. In the lawsuit, Beckman said he has worn Packers' gear on the field at Soldier Field before the game in both 2014 and 2015 without issue. "I tried to resolve it". I know it's around here somewhere and he just hasn't busted it out yet.' I just stood with my head down laughing easily for two or three minutes. "I don't want to be in people's faces, but when I go to games, I like to wear my jersey".
The filing includes email strings showing Beckman's attempt to get the dispute resolved before the event.
Beckman is representing himself and "seeking that the Bears and the National Football League be ordered by the court to not enforce this rule for the 2017 season and beyond". But one of several emails the Bears sent to Beckman explaining the policy said the sideline access "was specifically created as a unique opportunity for Chicago Bears fans".
"When I attend other Bears' events, I'm very careful to not wear Packers gear unless its the day of a game", Beckman said. "I think the Bears are being disrespectful to their fans by not letting them wear what they want".
Beckman said he doesn't drink and considers himself a well-behaved fan.
"People are just going insane over it".
A spokeswoman for the Bears say the team does not comment on legal matters. "It's an experience for Bears season ticketholders, which I am".
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