Fan behavior at sporting events has grabbed the media spotlight in recent years as baseball, basketball and football games have been marred by fights and obscenities shouted at players and other spectators.
Now the National Football League (NFL) is moving to penalize fans who get out of hand at its football games.
Spectators who get ejected from certain stadiums this season will have to agree to participate in a four-hour online anger-management course — which will cost them $75 — or face a permanent ban from those stadiums, according to the New York Post.
Representatives of New Jersey’s MetLife (NYSE:MET) Stadium — home to both the New York Jets and New York Giants — said they remove an average of 25 spectators from every football game, for a total of 500 a season.
Bloomberg reports that the online anger-management course is the brainchild of Art Novick, founder of the AJ Novick Group. MetLife Stadium partnered with Novick in a trial program in 2010.
This year, a number of NFL teams, including the Bills, Browns, Colts, Falcons, Giants, Jets, Packers, and Patriots will require fans tossed from games to take the course. Concerned with its image, the NFL has recommended the course to the league’s other 24 teams.
Bloomberg reported that Novick donates $55 from the course fee to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers. Novick told Bloomberg that alcohol contributes to most unbecoming sports fan behavior.