NFL games have become a bit of a political boiling point this season, more than ever before. From criticisms over national anthem demonstrations and the attempt to tie that to a decline in television ratings, the NFL has become a target for political agendas. On Sunday in California, a man used a drone to fly above games in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and the Coliseum in Oakland to dispense propaganda attacking television news outlets.
“It was something about free speech and his belief that television stations are corrupt,” Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno said, according to a report from the San Francisco Gate. Local authorities have since opened an investigation into the two incidents, with the drone pilot arrested Sunday.
The pilot sent his drone over Levi’s Stadium during the Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers game. After attempting to drop off his reading materials to fans, the unnamed pilot quickly made his way over to the game in Oakland between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. The fan’s attempts were foiled by Mother Nature, however. According to police, most of the leaflets aimed for the fans flew away in the wind and fell outside of the two stadiums.
In 2015, the NFL became the first sports league to receive permission from the FAA to utilize drones, but the use was limited to flying above practices instead of over games and parking lots before games. It remains illegal for anyone to fly a drone within five miles of an airport, however. Both Levi’s Stadium and the Oakland Coliseum are located within five miles of airports. Santa Clara also prohibits the use of drones within 500 yards of Levi’s Stadium.
[MSN via San Francisco Gate]