Any cities out there entertaining the idea of seeking a Super Bowl might want to reconsider. Businesses in Phoenix are being forced to surrender free speech rights to the all-powerful National Football League. The next Super Bowl will be hosted by the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, along with the loss of free speech for area businesses.
Bowing to the NFL’s directive, the entire downtown area of Phoenix has been designated as a “Special Promotional and Civic Event Area,” through Feb. 19. No resident or business in the city-imposed “clean zone” will be permitted to display temporary signage without the approval of the city, the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. The permission deadline for temporary messages was this past Thursday.
One business owner already got sacked by the NFL’s draconian free speech oppressors. Bramley Paulin is unable to post a sign indicating his property is available for leasing. The city and NFL censors rejected his sign, and with it, his free speech rights.
The Goldwater Institute, located in Phoenix, sent a letter to the city requesting written assurance from the city that Bramley and others maintain the free speech right to post temporary signage in their own business places. There is no indication yet that the city has responded.
Just who made the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee the communication czars? The mousey leadership of Phoenix, that’s who. It’s just another large metropolis governed by freedom-challenged Democrats, namely Mayor Kate Gallego, the wife of socialist Cong. Ruben Gallego and a global warming alarmist. Phoenix is more concerned about pleasing its NFL overlord than allowing its citizens and businesses to express messages protected under the Constitution.
This deep blue city also passed Resolution 22073, which “restrict[s] all temporary signage within the Special Promotional and Civic Event Area that has not been authorized by the NFL or the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.”
Thorpe’s letter to the city stated that its ordinance violates constitutional guarantees regarding due process and improper delegation of government power by broadly authorizing two private entities—the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. Government is not legally allowed to delegate its authority to parties which it does not control.
Since when do blue cities give a hoot about such rights anyway? It’s time they get a lesson on the Constitution and freedom.
Goldwater Institute attorney John Thorpe’s letter to Phoenix city government said “hosting sporting events should not come at the cost of surrendering constitutional rights. And decisions about the free expression rights of downtown residents should not be delegated to unaccountable private parties.” The Goldwater Institute vowed to “never stop fighting to vindicate free speech and restore constitutional limits on governmental power.”
What’s happening in Phoenix is Super Bowl suppression, plain and simple. As Thorpe stated, hosting a Super Bowl is an exciting opportunity for Arizonans, one that should not require the surrendering of constitutional rights.