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Packers Fan is Suing the Bears So He Can Wear Green Bay Gear on Field

A Packers fan, who is also the owner of 5 PSLs at Soldier Field, is suing the Bears because they won't let him wear his Green Bay gear for on-field season ticketholder experiences.
Via U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division/PACER

This is the best thing I've read in quite some time. A Green Bay Packers fan and resident of Wisconsin, who is also the owner of five personal seat licenses at Soldier Field, home to the rival Chicago Bears, is suing the Bears because they refused to let him wear his Packers jersey during a pre-game, on-field experience for season ticketholders. Crain's Chicago Business first reported about the lawsuit. Before taking this drastic measure, the fan, listed in court documents as Russell Beckman, had several conversations with Bears ticket reps, and wrote a six-page letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to plead his case. He told the commissioner that if he did not respond in 60 days, he would file a suit. Goodell never responded.


In the letter to Goodell, which includes a second sentence that begins "This letter, which will be lengthy," Beckman argues passionately for his right to rep his team on the sidelines during pre-game warmups by noting this new policy is counter to the NFL's stated Football Operations mission, which he copy and pasted from the NFL's own website (into a footnote).

Beckman had been permitted to wear his Packers gear on the field for this same pre-game experience the two previous years, but it seems eventually the Bears got tired of seeing season ticket holders wearing Packers jerseys and hats on their own field. Beckman said he first became aware of the new policy when he received his confirmation for the on-field experience for the December 18, 2016 game against the Packers.

Beckman, who is also representing himself in the litigation, argues that as a personal seat license owner, the Bears are robbing him of a property right by denying him access to an experience specifically sold to season ticketholders like him. According to emails Beckman attached to the letter to Goodell, the Bears are claiming the experience is specifically for Bears fans, not Packers fans who also own PSLs at Soldier Field, and the policy is limited to only this pre-game experience. In response, Beckman says his second favorite team is the Bears.

(Maybe the Packers should sue him for fraudulent misrepresentation.)


In his interactions, he is very careful to present himself as respectful and kind, almost to the point of insincerity. He gets most fired up in emails to the ticket reps, in which he refers to the Bears as an organization that "continues to move towards the creation of safe spaces for Bear fans who suffer from anxiety due to the presence of opposing fans in your publicly owned and financed stadium."

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Here's another outstanding excerpt concerning segregation, the ethos of sportsmanship, and a Packers fan's name being physically etched on the walls of Soldier Field:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

And this, from the Goodell letter, appears to be a failed attempted at buttering up the good commissioner with some pics:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Beckman says all he wants from the suit is to be able to wear his Green Bay clothes at future pre-game, on-field experiences. According to Crain's, the Bears are aware of the lawsuit, but have not yet commented. The Bears did not immediately respond to request for comment from VICE Sports.

Last season, at Soldier Field, the Packers beat the Bears 30-27.