CHICAGO (CBS) — You be the judge: Freedom of speech or a jerk move? A Green Bay Packers fan is suing for the right to wear his gear during a special sideline experience for Bears season ticket holders.

As the Bears-Packers rivalry ignited once again last December, NFL superfan Russell Beckman was getting riled up for different reasons.

“My issue is not with Bears fans, it’s not with the Bears employees, it’s just a stupid policy,” Beckman said.

The Green Bay and Chicago season ticket holder tried to sport green and gold during a pregame warm-up event for fans in blue and orange. As a result, he was not allowed on the turf.

“I think it’s ridiculous — the concept that Chicago Bears would think they would have to create safe spaces for their fans,” Beckman said.

The fight on the field is headed to a courtroom now. Beckman is suing the Bears, and the NFL, on the grounds of free speech. “I’m not trying to shake down the Bears or anyone else for cash, that would be wrong,” he added.

Court filings include an email from the Bears director of ticket sales, which was sent to Beckman nearly a week before that game and said, in part, “…no visiting team clothing or attire will be permitted. This North EndZone experience was specifically created as a unique opportunity for Chicago Bears fans.”

Beckman notes that he wore this get-up (seen below) on the Soldier Field sidelines in 2014 and 2015 with no problems.

sdgsg Green Bay Fan Sues Over Bears Sideline Ban On Packers Gear

Source: Russell Beckman

“I think the Bears maybe underestimated my willingness to take this to this level.”

Beckman is asking for the policy to be revoked and for his court fees to be reimbursed. CBS 2 reached out to the Bears but a rep says the team does not comment on legal matters.


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