By Doug Newman
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to notify you that I am going to boycott the NFL this year and encourage others to do likewise. I will neither attend any games nor watch them on television. I have been a big fan – go Steelers! – since the early 1970s and I do not enjoy doing this.
However, I cannot in any way condone your new practice of doing enhanced pat-down searches before every game at every stadium. Here’s why:
1. I wouldn’t patronize any business that treats its customers in such a degrading fashion. What self-respecting person would?
2. Under other circumstances, such pat-downs would constitute sexual assault and the assailant would run the risk of jail time.
3. They don’t protect anyone against terrorism or any other form of crime. Who said a crime or a terror attack had to happen inside a stadium? What would prevent a terrorist from setting off a bomb in a parking lot before or after a game and killing hundreds or even thousands of people? The shootings after the Raiders-49ers exhibition game happened in the parking lot and not in the stadium.
4. If you say “then just don’t watch the NFL” then you don’t get it. It is bad enough that air travelers are subject to such demeaning searches before boarding planes. Now, you say you are going to do almost as much at every NFL game. And if people stand still for that, what is next? Will they be felt up before they can ride trains or buses? How about before they enter shopping malls or grocery stores? Will children be felt up before they enter school? Where does it end?
5. On a related topic, you say you support and honor our military personnel who risk their lives for our liberties, yet you form a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, which is dedicated to turning this country into a full-blown police state.
Again, I do not enjoy doing this. However, there comes a time when I have to draw a line. Reverse your pat-down policy, treat your fans with the dignity they deserve – after all, they make it all possible – and I will end my boycott. Deal?
Douglas F. Newman
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