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Sports Take: Evaluating the NFL’s new in-stadium bag policy

Sports Take: Evaluating the NFL’s new in-stadium bag policy
August 28
16:03 2013
A clear plastic bag measuring about a foot square is held up in Gillette Stadium prior to NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. The bag is approved under the NFL's new stadium bag policy, which limits the size to 12 inches square and 6 inches deep; the bag must be clear. Small clutch bags are also permitted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A clear plastic bag measuring about a foot square is held up in Gillette Stadium prior to NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. The bag is approved under the NFL’s new stadium bag policy, which limits the size to 12 inches square and 6 inches deep; the bag must be clear. Small clutch bags are also permitted. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

To go or not to go, that’s the question women are asking themselves after the National Football League implemented a new stadium bag policy.

From this season onward, purses larger than a small clutch, binocular cases, diaper bags, printed patterned plastic bags, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, seat cushions, camera bags and laptop bags are prohibited.

This policy outraged many people, particularly the female population because many women store personal items in their bags. Women also have the responsibility to carry items for their children.

Airports don’t implement a rule this strict. In an airport, women are allowed to carry multiple bags including a diaper bag. What makes NFL games more special than airports? Wouldn’t being in an airport pose greater danger than an NFL game?

However, the countless terrorist threats throughout Super Bowl week and the impact of the Boston Marathon bombings have put public safety concerns on notice.

Bags that are allowed include plastic bags that don’t exceed 12” x 6” x 12,” a clutch and a one gallon clear freezer bag. There are exceptions for medical conditions, in which a proper inspection must take place. A person also has the opportunity to purchase a clear bag with its team logo for $10.

The clear bag that is available for purchase has some wondering if this is a ploy for the NFL to get even more money from customers. The NFL already overcharges people with expensive parking and snack items.

The topic of this debate goes beyond sports. Ever since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, people have had to compromise between safety and freedom. With the unforeseen dangers some are willing to forsake certain freedoms while others aren’t. The danger is there, but its unpredictability has led to the NFL making this rule.

The NFL generates a large crowd making it more vulnerable to attacks. Past attacks outside sports have occurred where large crowds are held. The amount of people per square foot is also why the NFL implemented its policy. It’s easier to hurt a greater number of people when they are packed in such close vicinity.

Long-term ramifications must be considered when making these types of rules. There is a possibility that this rule can alienate certain people, making their choice of going to a sports bar or staying at home an easier one. On the other hand, if a terror attack were to occur during a game, there is a possibility that attendance could be affected.

This rule does seem to have a gender bias in hindsight, but this rule also bans certain items that males use as well. Camera bags and seat cushions are used by both genders. While this rule did outrage many women, they need to understand both sides of the issue.

Overall, the rule is reasonable and it’s something that had to be done. Many people act after danger occurs, so I commend the NFL for taking action before a disaster happens. The policy may not be popular, but if it prevents a terrorist attack it is for the best. For those that don’t like the rule, they can easily watch the game from their homes.

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