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Redskins: Take All the Pix You Want

Come on back, photographers, the stadium's safe. The Washington Redskins are apologizing to a University of Maryland student who was removed from his seat at this season's home opener, questioned by security officers and had his camera confiscated--all because he was taking photos of the game and his friends.

Redskins senior vice president Karl Swanson tells me that the officers who took Reza Farhoodi's camera and the team official who told the fan that "professional" cameras are banned from the House That Jack Built acted in error and that a Skins manager will contact Farhoodi to convey the team's regrets.

"Our stadium policy clearly states that still cameras are allowed," Swanson said in an email this morning. "Video cameras are not. There is no distinction between a 'professional' and 'amateur' camera. The security guards were in error, and we appreciate Mr. Farhoodi including his seat location so they can be spoken to. This is a perplexing one, which never should have happened. Mr. Farhoodi will be hearing from stadium management, who clearly will be offering an apology."

I just called Farhoodi, who was pleased to hear that the Redskins are admitting fault.

"I knew they were wrong," the student said. "I'd been to several games with my camera before with no problem. I'm glad they finally came to their senses. I just wish they hadn't taken me out of my seat. I just hope in the future, all their employees know the rules and don't hassle people."

Farhoodi will be shooting the next home game for this blog.
(No, he won't. Joke. Really. He won't. He's just a fan. Promise.)

By Marc Fisher |  September 19, 2007; 11:59 AM ET
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Methinks some Jack Bauer wannabes determined that Farhoodi fit a profile for a Middle Eastern terrorist.

If the Redskins lose, the terrorist win.

Posted by: Ed | September 19, 2007 1:10 PM

It's nice that the Skins backed off, but in fact new still digital cameras can take videos. I just bought one with a 12x zoom that can store almost 90 minutes of video at 30 frames per second (quite decent) using an 8 GB card that is not much bigger than a thmbnail. I'm sure other cameras can do even better. The distinction between still and video photography is not at all as clear as you and the Skins imply.

Posted by: Stan Horowitz | September 19, 2007 1:15 PM

Look for Dan "Little King" Snyder to impose a fee on each camera brought in....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2007 1:42 PM

Told you. Overzealous guard.

Posted by: Stick | September 19, 2007 2:38 PM

Was he targeted b/c he was of Middle Eastern descent? I want the Redskins organization to answer that question.

(And I LOVE how the Redskins are all apologetic now.....hmm, wonder if they would be if the story hadn't appeared in a WaPo blog???? Let me guess the answer...)

Posted by: Kay | September 19, 2007 3:13 PM

At least they see the error of pissing off a fan and tryign to keep people from seeing what they're selling. You'd think the more photos there are out there of the team the more free publicity they would get.

Posted by: EricS | September 19, 2007 3:20 PM

Yay! Score one for the fans! Yayyyy!

Posted by: Smiley McDoogle | September 19, 2007 3:49 PM

Sounds like what they really need to do is improve their guard training. Maybe throw in a little public relations with the other instructions.

Posted by: h3 | September 19, 2007 4:13 PM

The field security personnel are trained and have experience. The IDIOTS who are in the stands who never check tickets and in the parking lots, are clowns, or non GED holding morons. Not surprised this happened.

Posted by: erregun | September 19, 2007 4:16 PM

I saw a fan at a Nationals game thrown out for a "professional" still camera. They defined it as any camera with a detachable lens. Is this a policy at RFK as well?

Posted by: Justin | September 19, 2007 4:52 PM

This screams of racial profiling! If this kid had blond hair and blue eyes, never would've happened!

Posted by: chris | September 19, 2007 6:05 PM

This sounds like a case of poor training for the security guards. The stadium has two policies regarding cameras: For concerts, all recording devices (including cameras of any kind) are banned. For sporting events, still cameras are OK. It appears that the security guards, who are probably encouraged to be zealous in enforcing the rules regarding concerts, thought the same rules applied to the football game.

Posted by: fudd | September 19, 2007 11:12 PM

Ah, the "detachable lens" ruse. I ran into that at the Fiesta Bowl last January. What a load of you-know-what. Yeah, I'm gonna heave my $300 detachable telephoto lens from the upper deck onto the playing field. The stadium officials call it a safety issue. I call it selective enforcement, cuz I saw LOTS of people with cameras with detachable lenses.

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