Following the City of New Orleans’s acquiescence to speech restrictions at the insistence of the NFL, civil libertarians sprang into action. They were sure to meet ultimate success, as Americans’ rights shouldn’t and cannot be abrogated through a pact between a major league sport and a fawning local government.
Wisely, the NFL and City of New Orleans have backed down:
NEW ORLEANS — The ACLU of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans have reached an amicable agreement to modify the “Clean Zone” regulations adopted by the City in advance of the Super Bowl. In response to an ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of a political protester and a preacher, the City has agreed to substantially change policies that could have severely restricted constitutionally protected speech, from political and religious messages to advertisements promoting the City’s local businesses.
“This is a great result for the people of New Orleans, our visitors and businesses within the Clean Zone,” said Marjorie R. Esman, ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director. “The language of the Clean Zone ordinance and guide was originally unclear and much too broad, but with these changes, individuals can rest assured that their Mardi Gras flags can fly, their political opinions can be expressed, and local businesses can advertise with much fewer restrictions.”