Roger Goodell – Stop Messing With New Orleans
It's bad enough that Roger Goodell gave us "Bounty Gate" but now the NFL is going too far. The City of New Orleans at the request of the National Football League (read Roger Goodell) has enacted a "Clean Zone" ordinance that will infringe on free speech in the Big Easy. The "Clean Zone" act will prohibit the following:
Inflatables, cold air balloons, banners, pennants, flags, building wraps, A-frame signs, projected image signs, electronic variable message signs, and light emitting diode signs of any kind shall be prohibited except for those sanctioned or authorized by the City,
General and mobile advertising (including, but not limited to, signs on or attached to a vehicle, portable device or person) shall be prohibited except for promotional displays sanctioned or authorized by the City (consisting of at least 60% Super Bowl/NFL branding, look and feel, and no more than 40% third party commercial identification) and by the National Football League (NFL), including, but not limited to, those placed on existing public utility poles.
Anyone - business or individual - who wishes to display such signs, flags, banners or other items must apply for a permit, and only official NFL sponsors may apply. Additionally, any such sign, banner or flag must "consist of at least 60% Super Bowl/NFL branding, look and feel, and no more than 40% third party commercial identification."
This "Clean Zone" includes the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny and the Central Business District. According to the act nobody will be able to fly an American flag, LSU flag, Louisiana flag or even a Mardi Gras flag unless it has NFL branding! Imagine not being able to post a sign on your business that says "public restrooms not available" or "beer for sale" or even "Go to hell, Roger Goodell" in New Orleans.
The NFL and the City of New Orleans must approve the message on a sign and the content must be at least 60% NFL branding. Is this crazy or what? It's bad enough that the NFL seems to have forgotten about the First Amendment but New Orleans, the city that care forgot, where anything goes, caved to the NFL demand. I am shocked and appalled that New Orleans would even consider this. Naked people, drunk people with open containers and naked, drunk people are ok but signs aren't? it seems like I hear the strains of the Five Man Electrical Band in the background...remember the song? Signs, signs everywhere.
The ACLU is taking up the fight against this ludicrous action on behalf of the Occupy Movement and are you ready for this, Reverend Troy Bohn. Bohn of Raven Ministries preaches in the French Quarter and the Central Business District wearing tee-shirts that say things like "Ask Me How Jesus Changed My Life" or "Ask Me About Jesus".
The complaint against the City of New Orleans and the NFL will be heard in District Court in New Orleans Tuesday afternoon 1/29/13. I will be pulling for the ACLU in this case. I may go to New Orleans on Super Bowl Sunday just to hold up some sort of sign. Watch for me on the arrest report.