Even a laser beam in the face can not stop Tom Brady. But if you hit it with a laser, it could lead to criminal charges and a permanent ban in an NFL stadium. This could also cause the NFL to rethink the stadium security policies and how they relate to the integrity of the game.
The NFL is investigating a suspicious green beam that repeatedly surfaced on Brady's uniform, helmet and skin during Sunday's AFC Championship. As William Joy of KMBC shows on Twitter, the beam approaches Brady's face several times, even in crucial moments of the game. One such opportunity arose when Kansas City Chiefs security guard Daniel Sorensen intercepted a pass Brady threw. Footage shared by KCTV's David Harris also reveals that the beam had reached the helm of Kansas City Chiefs defender Derrick Nnadi and possibly other Chiefs and New England Patriots players who were near Brady.
Joy reports that he spoke with representatives of the NFL. Patriots and Chiefs after the game. Everyone told him that they did not notice the beam or heard complaints about it. Brady's game did not seem to suffer either. The 41
Regardless of whether the laser pointer has influenced the AFC championship, the fact that it is repeatedly in the vicinity of a player's face poses a security risk. It is a risk that both NFL and NFLPA will investigate. To the extent that a fan's laser pointer is used to obstruct the opposing team quarterback's view, the NFL must investigate whether it could give the home team an unfair advantage and what to do as a result.  5 Important Steps of "LaserGate:" Ensuring Player Safety and Integrity
First, laser pointers can seriously damage a person's vision, and such damage can occur almost immediately. The Mayo Clinic notes that " laser pointers, especially those with short wavelengths such as green laser pointers, can permanently damage the retina and cause loss of vision in just a few seconds." Whether a laser pointer has the ability of a quarterback, one The fact that certain types of green-beam laser beam are classified as particularly harmful by the Mayo Clinic should be a secondary issue for the NFL, as the pointer may temporarily or permanently blind the quarterback. The beam on Brady was green.
Second, the power, accessibility, and maneuverability of laser pointers make them difficult stadiums for the police.Laser points can have long distances that allow a person sitting in any location in the stadium, a player In fact, basic laser pointers radiate normally About half a mile. Many of these devices are also inexpensive, and some cost less than $ 20. Many also fit in the palm of the hand and are very light, which means that they are easy to hide and transport. In other words, if someone wanted to enter an NFL stadium and aim a beam at a player's face, it would probably not require much effort or expense.
McCann: Don & # 39; t Expect Legal Remedies After Defeating Saints by Rams  Third, NFL stadiums have codes of conduct that are compromised when someone breaks a player's view through a laser pointer , For example, Arrowhead Stadium indicates that cardholders have no behavior that is "relentless" or "disturbing." Likewise, cardholders are prohibited from hindering the progress of the game. Likewise, they are prohibited from engaging in behavior that endangers the safety of others. Any attempt to distract the quarterback of the opposing team with a laser pointer clearly violates the Arrowhead Code of Conduct.
A violation of the Code of Conduct could trigger a permanent ban on the Arrowhead Stadium. A game ticket is a contract that provides the ticket holder with a limited and revocable license to enter the stadium for a fee to watch a game. If no license exists, a viewer is classified as an intruder and could be arrested. A team might decide never to re-license a person who violates the stadium's Code of Conduct.
The enforceability of such a ban would be a challenge. While face recognition software and credit card watch lists would facilitate enforcement, the Arrowhead Stadium can accommodate over 76,000 people and has limited capacity for monitoring each person. A prohibited person can pay for a ticket with cash or be bought by another person for him or her. In addition, the forbidden person will obviously age over time. As its appearance changes, it becomes even more difficult to impose a ban that depends on visual identification.
Fourth, the use of a laser pointer can be a criminal act. For example, it is a crime in the state to point a laser pointer at a plane during the flight. A number of states and cities prohibit the use of laser pointers when interfering with law enforcement agencies, ambulatory services or motorists. Likewise, some jurisdictions have banned harassment by laser pointers. Neither in Missouri nor in Kansas City does a specific law exist on the use of a laser pointer as a harassment instrument. An attempt to compromise another person's point of view could be considered a battery, disorderly behavior, disruption of peace, or similar crimes. If, at this point, the person (s) who used to have a laser pointer in Brady at Arrowhead Stadium was identified by NFL investigations (or by local law enforcement agencies), there is a fair chance that such person will be charged with a criminal offense
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Fifth: The laser attack on Brady is not an isolated case for the NFL. In 2016, Brock Osweiler complained about a spectator who distracted him during a game between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders with a laser. A few years earlier, the Detroit Lions identified a fan of Ford Field after that fan used a laser pointer to distract the Buffalo Bills players against the Lions during a game. Given the affordability and proliferation of laser pointers, the League and NFLPA should consider the associated security risk as a topic for further analysis.
The league should also be motivated by concerns about competitiveness. The fans, who want to dazzle opposing players, could jeopardize the integrity of the games and thwart the NFL's oft-mentioned focus on fair play. Consider the importance of competitiveness in official league documents. For example, the official rules of the NFL describe the Commissioner's desire to avoid "competition inequalities" in the rules governing the way games are played. The collective agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, for its part, discusses how the microphones attached to the players should not create a "competitive disadvantage" for the player or his team. The constitution and statutes of the NFL also provide relevant language. They set very specific rules for the use of communication and information collection devices to ensure that these devices do not unfairly help a team while playing a game. They also prescribe rules for the use of electronic magnifiers and speaker systems.
The Bigger Point: The NFL is committed to ensuring that the presentation and design of games do not cause unfair advantage or unfair disadvantage. With this spirit, the league could inform the teams that they need to monitor the use of laser technology more aggressively by the viewers. Otherwise penalties could be imposed on fines or loss of election designs.
Such a policy in this direction would have to be voted on by proprietors, at least some of whom warn against the tens of thousands of spectators being logistically monitored. Owners would also stress that privacy concerns exist if audiences are closely monitored. However, if a player is injured by a laser pointer or a game is clearly impaired by the use of a laser, the league may regret not treating the problem more seriously. Just think of the fallout of a referee who could not call interference with a conference championship game.
Michael McCann is the legal analyst of SI. He is also Deputy Dean of the School of Law of the University of New Hampshire and publisher and co-author of The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law and Court Justice: The Story of My Struggle Against the NCAA .