Is This Clear, NFL?

Earlier this week, I wrote about the foibles and frustrations of NFL’s new “Be Clear” policy.

In my view, the policy clearly imposes a disproportionate burden on women. With another exhibition game coming up tonight at Browns Stadium, it’s time to point out another obvious flaw with the policy.

Specifically, NFL now limits any carry-in bags to clear plastic totes that don’t exceed 12” x 6” x 12”.  I’ve made my own bag, because I refuse on principle to shell out $9.95 plus tax for a branded bag that would add to NFL’s coffers.

Yet while the bag may be transparent, the stuff we put inside it won’t be.

That’s right, NFL: Except for air, the stuff fans carry inside their see-through bags is not invisible.

(c) Kathiann M. Kowalski

(c) Kathiann M. Kowalski

As a case in point, here’s my see-through 12” x 6” x 12” tote. Inside, there’s a hooded sweatshirt, a cut-off tee shirt, a fabric flower, two knives, a corkscrew, a pair of scissors, 4 blue-tinted supermarket bags, and a tomato.

Now, I have no intention whatsoever of trying to smuggle any banned items into Browns Stadium or anywhere else that they’re not allowed. And I certainly do not want anyone reading this to disobey applicable law or regulations.

My point is only that making fans go to the trouble of getting a see-through bag doesn’t eliminate the task of actually looking into or otherwise scanning those bags for banned items.

In short, the world is not invisible!

And no, NFL, you can’t realistically expect people to only put see-through clothing, see-through tissues, see-through medicines, see-through cameras, see-through phones, or see-through personal products in their see-through bags.

Thus, as far as I can see, the policy adds nothing to safety. Consequently, there is no justification for its disproportionate—and hence discriminatory—impact on women.

This is perfectly clear to me. And it should be clear to the NFL too.


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