SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Superior Court ruling renewed the right of NFL teams to remove unruly fans from stadiums, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Judge Gale Kaneshiro reversed her earlier decision that obnoxious behavior was constitutionally protected. At issue was the case of a man in a Kansas City Chiefs jacket who displayed his middle finger to heckling Chargers supporters at a game at Qualcomm Stadium two years ago.
Jason Ensign was later acquitted of battery charges for refusing to cooperate with security guards.
On Friday, Kaneshiro specified that Ensign, a paying customer, was an "invitee or conditional licensee" at a game otherwise not open to the public, making him subject to the NFL's Code of Conduct.
"Judge Kaneshiro's revised decision upholds the right to enforce those rules and remove unruly fans from the stadium as long as it is done right," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. "These are sporting events that families should feel free to attend without fear of being caught up in a brawl."
Goldsmith said he was concerned her earlier ruling would deter the enforcement of rules designed to prevent violence.