Last week, the a new NFL Security Policy, dubbed All Clear, was announced with the hope of improving security inside stadiums. Fans will no longer be allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, or any other type of bag that is not clear, or larger than 12” x 6” x 12”. The only non-clear bags women will be allowed to bring are clutch type bags. Beginning this season, there will also be an additional perimeter around stadiums that will prevent those who have prohibited items from getting close to the stadiums. These changes are good if you plan to blow up 70,000 people or want to bring a flask of Crown Royal; but if you need tampons, or are coming in with a family, the NFL has given you the middle finger. Sure, you could have each member of your family bring a clear plastic bag with their diapers, Depends, or whatever incontinence wearables they may need, but how embarrassing is that?
The funniest part of this entire change is the $40 tote bags the league sells on its online store and at stadiums cannot be used to bring items into those same venues.
From SportsGrid's Rick Chandler:
A lot of women I know won’t go anywhere without a proper purse, and asking them to leave them behind, or transfer the contents to a clear plastic tote, is pretty much out of the question. They don’t want you seeing what’s in there, and frankly I don’t want to see it either. But rest assured everything in there is pretty much essential for human survival. If the NFL is trying to make the league more accessible to women, this is the PR goof of the decade so far.
I’m all about the safety of fans at stadiums, but at some point the constant checking of every single thing brought anywhere has to stop. I’m guessing this approach is better -- read cheaper -- than allowing teams to setup one or two entrances with metal detectors for larger bags, but do these changes encourage you to visit NFL stadiums with your family?
The NFL does make some exceptions for those who have particular needs. This is from NFL Chief Security Officer Jeff Miller:
Absolutely, we will always look out for people who have special needs. The exception that we have made is for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate that is designated for that person. An individual like that [a Carolina Panthers season ticket holder who has an autistic child with Asperger’s Syndrome] with a special need would contact the Panthers and go to the gate that has been designated. They may be subject to a secondary screening prior to getting into the buffer zone area and then when they get to that gate they will be screened in and be able to attend the game just like they always did.
This is nice, by why is this dude picking on some poor kid with a disease that is a Panthers fan. Isn’t being a Panthers fan traumatic enough?
Miller goes on to explain that setting up additional security so fans can bring in larger bags and other items simply don’t work because of the number of people. What Mr. Miller forgets is that venues such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Daytona International, and even smaller places such as Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course allow these items, and in some cases have a capacity of nearly 400,000 people.
The better solution would be to require fans with bags to arrive earlier to have their bags inspected and allow those fans who are arrive with nothing to go through existing security. Allow fans to continue to bring in those items, but make it extremely difficult to do so. Eventually they’ll get the point.
The NFL also thinks you’re stupid, so they had expensive drawings made of what a clutch purse looks like and a clear plastic bag. I included them to make you feel stupid.
Yes, of course the NFL will sell you a branded version of their clear 12x6x12 tote. Who knows how much it will be, but it won't be cheap.
If that wasn’t enough, the NFL also said no more seat cushions. So apparently, they now hate your grandparents who hate sitting on hard plastic.
What do you think of the NFL’s new security policy? Will you leave your babies in car so you watch the games without diapers? How soon until the full-body scanners appear at stadiums?