Stand, cheer, drink some beer
A reasonably official guide to your rights and responsibilities on game day
This feature appears in the Feb. 8 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
YOU'VE GOT A RIGHT TO ...
GO WHEN YOU GOTTA GO
EARN A LITTLE RESPECT
"We train staff to not bring their personal baggage to work with them," says Paul Turner, director of event operations at Cowboys Stadium. "And if a staff member has a stressful interaction with a guest, we give them time to cool off." Well played. Three years ago, a Portland Timbers soccer fan claimed a stadium cop twisted her arm, addressed her in "a condescending and mocking tone," then handcuffed and jailed her for nearly six hours after she asked for his badge number. She was cleared of two misdemeanors and pocketed $15,000 after settling a civil suit.
ESCAPE A PLAYER'S WRATH
Barriers and guards can't always protect us from angry jocks. Most leagues fine and suspend offenders, but the NBA went so far as to institute a conduct code after 2005's Malice at the Palace. It mandates "players will respect and appreciate" fans while expecting the same. Too bad that didn't happen at the Home Depot Center last July, when MLS star David Beckham confronted a rowdy rooter. (The fan was ejected; Becks got a $1,000 slap.) Still, Mitten says, "Clubs have a duty to protect fans from harassment or assault."
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ESPN The Magazine: The Fan Issue
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