Browns Fans Kicked Out of Stadium for Standing
CLEVELAND — Kicked out for standing up.
A local couple says they were tossed from Friday night’s Browns game for cheering on the team at home.
Jim and Jeanette Becker, of Broadview Heights, say they were embarrassed and upset when they and a friend were ejected from Cleveland Browns Stadium in the third quarter.
They say they were not drunk, they were not rowdy–they say all they did was stand up to cheer on the Browns.
Cheering on the Browns from the Dawg Pound is a long-standing tradition for many Cleveland football fans. Jim Becker has been a season ticket holder for 10 years.
“I’ve been a fan since I was 3-years-old, when my grandpa told me you root for the team in the orange helmet and that was good enough,” Becker said.
But Becker says his enthusiasm got him, his wife and a friend booted from the stadium during last Friday’s pre-season home opener.
“Colt McCoy’s driving the team down to our end zone right in front of us, so a buddy of mine who was sitting on the end of the aisle starts, you know, he stands up because it’s actually getting exciting for once,” Becker said.
Becker says it was the third quarter and the stadium was practically empty. A fan a few rows back came up to ask his friend to sit down.
“So he went down and told an usher and the usher came up and told my buddy, we were still sitting down, he told my buddy, listen you know why I’m here right,” Becker explained.
Becker says a couple plays later the Browns score.
“We’re standing up and high fiving each other, me and my wife, we see four Cleveland police officers and a sheriff come up and a bunch of Tenable security guards, and they told us that we were warned and that we had to get out of the stadium, they were ejecting us for standing up,” he said.
A spokesman for the Browns says that the team is still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but he says there is no policy dealing with excessive standing. They want fans to be loud and to cheer, but the problem comes if that behavior is disruptive to other fans in the stadium.
Becker says he is a huge Browns fan. His basement is decorated with all types of Browns paraphernalia. He says he and his wife only stood up once and thought cheering on the team was part of the game.
“I wanna be a part of it and enjoy the atmosphere of being at the game with 70-thousand people, but you know, if you gotta sit down on your hands the whole time and pretend you’re at a ballet or something, there’s really no incentive for going anymore,” he said.
Browns spokesman Neil Gulkis says the Browns organization has reached out to the Beckers, but have not yet gotten a chance to speak with them.