Banned Packers fan is suing BearsPackersFan

Posted June 20, 2017

A Packers fan has filed suit against the Bears for a dress code he claims violates his free-speech rights by prohibiting him from wearing Packers' attire on the sideline.

A few news stories from Monday showed there's nothing quite like the fans of the Green Bay Packers, as one former team executive likes to say.

The Packers and Bears have played 194 times.

He is suing the Bears in federal court and is looking for an order that allows him to wear Packers apparel on game day.

For the past three seasons, Beckman said he's spent his "rewards points" on a chance to stand at the edge of the field during pregame warmups.

Before the 2016 season, the Bears launched a new program that allowed fans to cash in points earned through a loyalty program for fan experiences. Chicago and Green Bay are less than four hours apart, and fans from either team frequently attend Bears-Packers game at the opposing team's field. During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, he went to the event decked out in his Packers' gear without any issue, according to the suit.

Beckman lives in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, near the IL state line and holds Bears seasons tickets.

Beckman said he asked the Bears to reconsider in phone conversations, but they declined.

Beckman wrote that the Bears "deprived me of my ability to fully enjoy this specific on-field experience and the general experience of the Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field" and wants Chicago to be ordered not to enforce the rule from 2017 and beyond. Russell Beckman is the type of Packers fan Bears fans love to hate: Fiercely loyal, unabashed and willing to throw a Hail Mary to win.

"I was denied access to that experience because I was wearing Packers colors", Beckman said.

"Doesn't the fact that the Bears are my second favorite National Football League team qualify me as a 'Bears fan?'" he wrote. "The Bears, in their actions, are disrespecting the rivalry, disrespecting their fans", Beckman said. "I didn't want to do it and they wouldn't relent, and I told them I would do it and I did".

Beckman said he doesn't drink and considers himself a well-behaved fan.

An email request for comment to the Bears has not been returned.