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Ejected NFL fans now must take an online course to get back in the stadium.
As an extension of the NFL's Fan Code of Conduct, any fan who is thrown out of a game will be required to take a four-hour online course before they are permitted to reenter.
To boot, ejected NFL fans may have to pay up to $100 just to take the online course. The course will focus on topics like alcohol abuse, anger management, and crude behavior, reports ESPN. Several teams have already used the course in the past, but the new policy means that every NFL team will now require the course.
If you've ever seen an Oakland Raiders or Philadelphia Eagles game on TV, you know that football fans can be boorish. Raider fans are known for fighting opposing fans and each other, and Eagles fans are perhaps best remembered for cheering Michael Irvin's career-ending neck injury and throwing ice balls onto the field.
NFL fans often get into a gang mentality at the game as they are surrounded by thousands of similarly rabid fans and hide their voices and actions behind a sea of anonymity. However, fans do get caught for acting like idiots, and hundreds are thrown out every year, reports ESPN.
So with the online course requirement for ejected NFL fans, the league probably hopes that fans will either be deterred from acting like idiots or that the idiot fans won't be able to pass the course.
If you're wondering how the NFL can come up with such a drastic policy, the answer is that attending football games is a privilege and not a right. While most ordinary members of the public can walk up and buy a ticket to attend a game, the NFL does reserve the right to discriminate against ejected NFL fans who don't pass the online course.