The Chicago Bears are being sued by a Green Bay Packers fan for not allowing him to wear his Packers gear on the sidelines for a pre-game fan experience that he purchased.
The Chicago Bears just can’t win against the Green Bay Packers, on or off the field. In the latest turn of the oldest rivalry in the NFL, Packers fan Russell Beckman is suing the Bears for denying him access to a pre-game, on-field experience which he purchased because he wasn’t wearing Bears gear.
Beckman is a Packers fan who purchased Bears season tickets to ensure that he has tickets to the annual rivalry game. He’s attended this pre-game event in 2014 and 2015 without any recourse, but in 2016 he received an e-mail stating that fans could not partake in the event in opposing team’s gear.
“It’s something I paid for,” he said of the sideline experience. “I’m not on a noble crusade. I’m not the center of attention where I stand. (The Bears’ policy) bothers me, and I’m taking them to court.”
Beckman’s requests to the Bears and the league, including a registered letter to commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the policy fell on deaf ears, so he is representing himself taking legal action against the Bears. He is not seeking damages except to recoup legal fees but does seek to have the Bears change their policy.
If you want my take, (and why wouldn’t you?) I think that the Bears should let the damned Packer fan wear his Packers gear. There are plenty of ways to keep Packers fans out of Soldier Field, yet the Bears welcome Russell and his cold hard cash to Soldier Field as a season ticket holder. They also let him cash in his loyalty points for the fan experience. Begrudgingly, he paid his way, so he should wear what he wants.
Despite their horrible stretch for the last decade, the Bears still have a lengthy season ticket waiting list. There are plenty of die-hard Bears fans who would shave the Bears “C” into their back hair or cover themselves from head to toe in orange and navy paint for the chance to stand on the Bears sideline for a pre-game event. Since the Bears sold him a ticket, they should let him wear the colors of his choice.
Another way to have fewer people wearing Packers gear to their games? Put a better product on the field and win over some fans. We’ll see what the 2017 season brings. Hopefully more than three wins and hopefully fewer Packers fans at Soldier Field.