(NEW YORK) — The National Football League is banning all purses in its stadiums this coming season. The decision is meant to increase safety at the games, but many fans, particularly women and families with young children are crying foul.
NFL Chief Security Officer Jeffrey Miller says the decision was made with fans in mind. “By taking this minor step per person we create a major improvement,” Miller said. “It really does dramatically increase our security posture at our stadiums.”
“Football is such a national past-time in the US. If you are a terrorist bad guy that would be a great target,” said former FBI special agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett. “I think it’s a reasonable approach.”
The new policy limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums. Fans are now only allowed to bring in a hand-sized clutch and a clear, one-gallon Ziploc or freezer bag. Anything larger must be a clear tote. The NFL is selling acceptable totes online.
NFL officials said they’d make exceptions for people who had things like medical supplies that couldn’t fit into a small bag.
Seat cushions are also banned, due to fears that they could contain an explosive device, according to the news release from the NFL.
“I have no problem saying what a huge issue I have with that,” one female fan told ABC’s Susan Saulny. “That’s not appropriate.”
The fan said that she might have to root for her favorite team, the Steelers, from her couch instead of the stadium.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN