Over the years, people have protested what they believed to be worthy causes, from the Vietnam War to Beijing's Tiananmen Square, but the right to curse at a National Football League game?
A veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department has filed a lawsuit which could dramatically change the Fan Code of Conduct which the NFL added to stadiums and parking lots in 2008.
FOX 5 in San Diego reports this all goes back to a Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals game in October of 2010. Officer Eric Holguin was cheering for and wearing Cards colors when according to his lawsuit, fans at Qualcomm Stadium were cursing at him. He did what many have done over the years and fired a few dirty words back at the Chargers fans. That's when stadium security tossed him and two Chargers fans out of the game for breaking the NFL's ban on "profane behavior."
An attorney for Holguin, Mary Frances Prevost, tells 10 News in San Diego what happened. "Two Chargers fans came down and challenged him to a fight. He said no thank you and said, '[expletive] you' back," she said.
After getting the boot, Holguin went back to a stadium gate to wait for his wife, San Diego Police allegedly struggled with him, placing him in handcuffs and arresting Holguin for assault and resisting arrest. He ended up being acquitted of those charges but was convicted of giving a false name to officers.
As a result of his legal battle, the 13-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department has filed a Federal Lawsuit against the city of San Diego, including an injunction asking America's Finest City to stop enforcing the rules on fan behavior not only at Chargers games, involving the NFL's Fan Code of Conduct, which censors obscene and offensive language, but also Padres baseball games played at Petco Park.
Holguin's lawyer argues that "It's vague, overboard and ambiguous," and "prohibits First Amendment speech."
This is actually the second legal challenge to commissioner Roger Goodell's fan rules. But unlike a 2011 court case in which a judge supported the NFL's right to enforce its fan code of conduct, this legal action is thought to have a better chance of succeeding because of who filed the charges and where they were filed.
Fox 5 San Diego Video: Here
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