"Event patrons are responsible for their conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and/or persons occupying their seats. Stadium staff will promptly intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests, and other fans can enjoy the event free from the above behavior. Event patrons and guests who violate these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games." -- NFL Fan Code of Conduct
"The Bengals announced this morning that they have re-signed wide receiver Chris Henry to a one-year contract. He had been released April 3 after his fifth arrest as a Bengal. Charges against Henry were later dismissed. He had been under house arrest in his downtown Cincinnati apartment and forced to wear an electronic monitor on his ankle." -- Cincinnati Enquirer
Two statements related to conduct, two disparaging messages.
If I, who attends a game at a tax-funded stadium as a fan, acts unruly (which may not be synonymous with illegal), I may lose the right to view the rest of the game, and I may have my ticket privileges for future games revoked.
If Chris Henry, who participates in a game at a tax-funded stadium as a player, acts unruly (which often is synonymous with illegal), may be suspended four games, but will not lose his privileges to collect a lucrative contract and participate in later games.
Yes, one happens in the confines of the stadium, the other outside of it, but this drips of the NFL's patented-brand of hypocrisy.
It's not so much the allowing Chris Henry back, it's the potential excommunication of the season-ticket holder, which is so striking.
Chris Henry, back after his fifth arrest. Unruly fan, booted after his first disruption.
The person who helps pay Chris Henry's salary. The person who most likely saw some of his tax dollars directed to fund the stadium. The person who commits, often emotionally to a team and its players, is on a one-strike policy.
The player, who has repeatedly shown the inability to make the right choices, despite playing football at the highest level, is on a current five-strike policy.
This isn't about Henry's immaturity or skill level. This is about a league that expects a certain behavior from its fans it doesn't expect from its players. At the very least, fans should be given the opportunity to have as many strikes as Chris Henry, or Pacman Jones.
You get kicked out of a stadium for being a jackass, you probably deserved it. And I'd like to see that schmo never return. But that fan should be allowed to return as many times as Henry, Pacman, Tank, you name the "villain," is allowed to return. Otherwise, players should be held to the standard fans are.
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