Green Bay fan sues over Bears' sideline ban on Packers gear

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H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Chicago Bears quarterbacks Mike Glennon (left) and Mark Sanchez leave the Walter Payton Center after the shortened minicamp practice on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Lake Forest, Ill. — H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com

CHICAGO – One Green Bay Packers fan is going to court over a favorite Wisconsin pastime of disparaging the arch rival Chicago Bears.

Russell Beckman filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday accusing the Bears of violating his free-speech rights by prohibiting fans from wearing Packers apparel at Bears' pregame warmups. He is seeking a court order lifting the ban.

Beckman lives in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, near the Illinois state line and holds Bears seasons tickets. Season-ticket holders can attend certain pregame warmups on the sidelines.

The Bears sent Beckman an email before a December Bears-Packers game warning in capital letters, "NO OPPOSING TEAM GEAR WILL BE ALLOWED." He went in Packers apparel anyway and was turned away.

The Bears didn't respond to a message seeking comment Monday.