Tuesday, August 21, 2012
NFL Adds Online Course to Fan Conduct Code Enforcement
code of conduct for fans, the NFL has announced the addition of some significant enforcement teeth.
Four years after implementing a league-wide |
As reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, any fan ejected from a game this season will receive a letter encouraging him or her to apologize to the team and complete a four-hour online education course covering alcohol abuse, anger management and crude behavior. If the fan refuses to comply and is caught on stadium grounds, he or she may be arrested for trespassing.
Under the policy in place since 2008, fans faced only the revocation of future ticket privileges. However, some teams had been piloting the online education component in recent seasons, and the league decided this summer to adopt best practices from those programs for all of its 32 franchises. Offending fans must pay to take the course, too, with costs ranging from $50 (Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions) to $100 (New England Patriots).
“For decades, some fans have believed that when they put on the jersey of their favorite player on their favorite team and they enter a stadium, they can behave any way they want,” said psychotherapist Ari Novick, who designed the course with MetLife Stadium security director Daniel DeLorenzi. “This program was designed to say to people, ‘We want you to have fun when you come to a game, but you have to understand that your actions can affect people and there are rules to abide by.’ ”
Approximately 7,000 fans were ejected from NFL games last season. Tracking ejected individuals will vary by club, but may one day include facial recognition technology, according to Ray DiNunzio, the league’s director of strategic security.