So here’s the scenario: you’re a fan of Team X, and you’ve made the eight hour pilgrimage to Team Z’s home field. Deep inside enemy territory you proudly wear the jersey of Team X, subjecting yourself to relentless heckling and having your mother’s sexual history described to you vividly for three hours. It’s fine though, as long as Team X prevails.
But they don’t. In fact, they fail miserably. You can take the screaming, yelling, and beer chucking of the home team’s fans, but throw in watching your team get pummelled after a long trip and $300 on tickets, parking, and foam fingers, and it’s time for some serenity now. Your middle finger begins to protrude further than the rest of your fingers, a fight ensues, and you go home with a hefty fine.
Well that’s just great. Not to worry though, because in the great land of America, the legal way is the only way, and a Kansas City Chiefs fan who went through that scenario has cleared the way for bird flippers around NFL stadiums.
Joseph Ensign went to the not-so-friendly confines of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in November of 2009 to watch his beloved Chiefs epically and embarrassingly implode to the tune of a 43-14 loss. We’ve all been there, and if Ensign was dressed anything like this guy, I can see why he’d be a little upset.
So yeah, he gave some Chargers fans the good ol’ one-finger salute, which led to a good ol’ donnybrook with some security guards, and eventually some good ol’ battery charges.
Over two years later Ensign has been acquitted of the charges, with the ruling coming down earlier this week. The reason? Free speech.
The trial judge, Gale Kaneshiro, ruled that Jason Ensign was invoking his free speech right with his middle-finger salute to Chargers fans, and had a right to defend himself from the private security officers who tackled him.
America’s founding fathers had the foresight to accommodate for the inebriated, angry sports fan. USA! USA! USA!