Post­ing of of­fen­sive video cost Lions’ fan his sea­son tick­ets

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY JUSTIN ROGERS The Detroit News jdrogers@de­troit­news.com twit­ter.com/Justin_Rogers

Allen Park — The Lions have taken swift and de­ci­sive ac­tion against a sea­son-ticket holder who posted a racially charged video on so­cial me­dia di­rected at a pair of fans who sat through the na­tional an­them prior to last Sun­day’s game at Ford Field.

Af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with the per­son who posted the video, he has for­feited his sea­son tick­ets.

The video, posted on Snapchat, had a voiced-over sug­ges­tion that the sit­ting fans leave the coun­try. The photo was cap­tioned “stupid (ex­ple­tive).”

Team pres­i­dent Rod Wood told The Detroit News he would be reach­ing out to the fans who were cap­tured in the so­cial­me­dia post.

In an in­ter­view with WXYZ on Tues­day, Stacey Gra­ham, one of the fans in the video, said she’s been sit­ting out the na­tional an­them since last sea­son be­cause of dis­agree­ments with the lyrics of the an­them’s third verse. Here is the third verse: And where is that band who so vaunt­ingly swore;

That the havoc of war and the bat­tle's con­fu­sion;

A home and a coun­try, should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul foot­steps' pol­lu­tion.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave;

From the ter­ror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;

And the star-span­gled ban­ner in tri­umph doth wave;

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Mul­ti­ple Lions play­ers, when asked, were pleased with the res­o­lu­tion of the mat­ter.

“Peo­ple should be able to do what they want to do,” safety Glover Quin said. “If they want to stand up, sit down (for the na­tional an­them), peo­ple have their choice, their free­dom. No type of racism, in my opin­ion, should be tol­er­ated."

Line­backer Tahir White­head, one of the team’s most vo­cal voices on so­cial me­dia re­gard­ing so­cial is­sues, said he doesn’t un­der­stand why peo­ple can’t re­spect­fully dis­agree on is­sues.

“Some peo­ple are more closed­minded than oth­ers, and feel stuff out­side their norm they need to speak out on it and their course of ac­tion is hate,” White­head said. “It’s all about how you re­spond.”

Lions coach Jim Cald­well praised the team’s in­ves­tiga­tive process.

“We do have a fan be­hav­ior stan­dard, a code of stan­dards, and I think, with­out ques­tion, our or­ga­ni­za­tion fol­lowed up, found out who the in­di­vid­ual was and he no longer has sea­son tick­ets in our sta­dium,” Cald­well said. “I think it was han­dled ap­pro­pri­ately, and those things hap­pen some­times.”

Prior to ac­knowl­edg­ing the for­fei­ture of the tick­ets, the Lions ini­tially pointed those in­quir­ing about the in­ci­dent to the sta­dium’s con­duct pol­icy.

The pol­icy threat­ens re­vo­ca­tion of tick­ets for a num­ber of ac­tions, in­clud­ing the dis­play of in­con­sid­er­ate or oth­er­wise in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior to­ward oth­ers and us­ing foul or abu­sive lan­guage or ob­scene ges­tures.

In 2014, the Lions banned a fan from Ford Field for shin­ing a laser pointer at the op­pos­ing quar­ter­back dur­ing a game.

Marko Bes­lach ul­ti­mately pleaded guilty to dis­or­derly con­duct and was sen­tenced to 80 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice and a $235 fine.

The Lions aren’t of­fi­cially ban­ning the fan from the most re­cent in­ci­dent, largely be­cause the ac­tion is im­prac­ti­cal, Wood said.

But, he points out, the fan is not wel­come at fu­ture events at Ford Field.

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