How the NFL came to control free expression in New Orleans

New Orleans officials think price of attracting business is suppressing fundamental liberties. The NFL must think it owns the town, and insists on a clean zone:

The “Clean Zone” establishes an area of New Orleans, specifically the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, and the Central Business District, where between January 28th and February 3rd the following prohibitions apply:

Inflatables, cold air balloons, banners, pennants, flags, building wraps, A-frame signs, projected image signs, electronic variable message signs, and light emitting diode signs of any kind shall be prohibited except for those sanctioned or authorized by the City,

General and mobile advertising (including, but not limited to, signs on or attached to a vehicle, portable device or person) shall be prohibited except for promotional displays sanctioned or authorized by the City (consisting of at least 60% Super Bowl/NFL branding, look and feel, and no more than 40% third party commercial identification) and by the National Football League (NFL), including, but not limited to, those placed on existing public utility poles.

What does this mean for Americans?

In other words, within the “Clean Zone” nobody can fly a flag of any kind – Mardi Gras, American flag, Louisiana flag, LSU flag – and simple signs such as “Restrooms for Customers Only”, “Buy your King Cake here,” or “Roger Goodell will not be served here” are forbidden unless the speaker is an NFL sponsor; the NFL and the City approve the message; and the content is at least 60% NFL branding.

Every local official who supported this deal should resign.


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