Tuesday, October 27, 2009

...AND THEN THE KINGDOM BEGAN TO CRUMBLE (AGAIN)

The story below appeared as a comment after a post of Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Blog about the change in fan behavior and accompanying fashion statements at last night's Redskins' game. It's disturbing on one hand and ridiculous on the other....

At half time, I went down to the concessions area to get a beer and a dog. Of course, the crowd was once again getting restless at the lack of productivity we were seeing on the field. Standing two rows away from me in line, were two middle aged men. One wore a T-shirt that read "Fire Snyder", the other's said "Fire Vinny".

It wasn't long after standing there that the men were surrounded by close to a dozen people wearing yellow security jackets. The conversation between them and the two men escalated quickly as security asked the men to remove their shirts. Of course the men refused, and one stated that he had been a season ticket holder for 26 years. The conversation continued to get heated and before you knew it 6 or 7 armed security officers formed a circle around the layer of yellowed jacketed security officers.

"Sir, you're about to lose those season tickets if you don't take off that shirt" is what he was told.

I don't know what got into me but I had seen enough and had to speak up. This was beyond absurd! I cut across a crowd of people, entering the circle of security.... I said " these guys should be able to wear whatever they want! What the hell is going on? What the hell is this? Communist Russia??? "

I was quickly greeted with a stern warning to not interfere and a shove in the chest that sent me back a few feet. A few minutes later, the men were escorted out of the area and a security woman approached me with an explanation about their actions.

"Look, I know what you're saying, and I can't say that I don't agree with you, but I'm a part-time teacher and this job is my Holiday money"...."upper management told us to come up here and ask these men to remove their shirts and I can't lose my job, so I'm doing it."

I decided then and there that I would NEVER again set foot in Fed Ex Stadium as long as Dan Snyder was the owner. The way I saw people being treated for voicing their opinions on this night embarrassed me as a Redskin fan, a Washingtonian, and as an American. These sort of totalitarian strong arm tactics are downright shameful and I needed to let others know about it.

I hope you share this story with your audience.

-- A deeply embarrassed Redskins fan.

(Editor's note: No, we didn't make this story up. And while items in italics at T.A.H. frequently aren't true, we don't know if this is a fictitious account or not. However, if it is true, it's a sad state of affairs. Having said that, despite any first amendment protestations, we assume that the Redskins ticket contract has a provision that says they can remove anybody they want at any time for any reason they deem necessary, but this shows you how hyper-sensitive (not to mention stupid) Redskins' senior management has become (allegedly). They should be embarrassed.

And we thought the team was bad...)

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