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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:07 AM
Original message
Wheelchair Search Upsets Mom (What NFL will push cities to do
http://www.tampatrib.com/FloridaMetro/MGBFXHG0ZEE.html

Oct 19, 2005
Wheelchair Search Upsets Mom
By ALAN SNEL
asnel@tampatrib.com


TAMPA - -- The mother of a teenage girl who received a written notice from the Tampa Sports Authority that her wheelchair cushion will be subject to a detailed security check says she thinks such a search is unfair and would embarrass her daughter.

Melanie Schuknecht, 17, of Dade City, is one of 60 Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans who recently received letters from the authority asking that they update their files with information about their special medical needs and other personal information. Schuknecht uses a $900 medical cushion with her wheelchair.

The form letter she received, a copy of which was provided to The Tampa Tribune, noted that sealed cushions are no longer allowed in the stadium and cushions must have an opening so they can be inspected before fans with medical needs enter Raymond James Stadium.

..cut..

"We have no way of knowing what's inside the cushion," Farrell said. "We don't know what it's loaded with."

..more at link...
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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Please don't interrupt the fear-mongering
Without such tactics, those who are in power might actually have their actions questioned. Thank you.
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JetboyOne Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excuse me?
"Schuknecht uses a $900 medical cushion with her wheelchair"

A $900 cushion? Ya gotta be kidding me!
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. probably an air cushion that inflates and deflates
to prevent bed sores.
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Welcome to DU!
Yeah, that side note is *almost* as pathetic as people wanting to search the damn thing. :eyes:
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JetboyOne Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. The problem with announcing
that they wouldn't search them is that as soon as people knew that they wouldn't be searched that's where they would conceal weapons.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
33. WHO would conceal weapons?
Security is one thing, paranoia is another. THIS is paranoia, demanding an obviously wheelchair-bound person be humiliated, because that's what it is. Paranoia if you really think people will sneak in weapons this way. Gang members, terrorists, etc. wouldn't do something this obvious -- they know how to circumvent the system. THAT'S why this is a joke and a nothing but a PR move -- "Hey, look! We're keeping out those evil brown guys!"
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okieinpain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. you're kidding right
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. yeah, who would think of searching the bag
of a white woman on a flight from London to New York? Why bother checking her packages, she's obviously not a terrorist right? Surely there's no way...
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Seen the light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. You wouldn't believe how much they jack the prices up for that stuff
A suction catheter to get mucus from a trach costs something like $5 a catheter and they have to be replaced ALL the time.
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. got that right
during PT a back brace I needed cost $80 every 3 months. I found the same one in a catalog for $20! (after I no longer needed it)
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. People who are in one position like this have very expensive
equipment to prevent decubitus ("bed sores") which leads to skin and tissue breakdown and infection. If you want me to post a pic, I'll find one for you.

The cushion is probably custom made for her size of w/c. I can't imagine why it is $900, but I bet the prices are jacked up because of insurance paying only a portion of it or something.

I think their security measures are going overboard. I'm surprised they haven't started body cavity searches.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. My new cushion costs $1000 - and it's completely unpowered
I'm getting a custom Ride cushion and it is absolutely the best static cushion that money can buy.

I've been in a chair for over 27 years and have never had a decubitus ulcer. An ulcer can put a person in the hospital for months. There is no way I want to spend months at the VAMC.

Most of my cushions have cost between $400 and $500. Usually you have to replace them yearly.

Being handicapped is damned expensive. Can't wait 'til they get those stem cell lines going!
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Pastiche423 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
35. It appears you are not a w/c user
Have you ever priced searched w/c cushions?

Probably the biggest reason for getting a good cushion, is the prevention of pressures sores.

Christopher Reeve (Superman) died from an infection of a pressure sore.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
36. Have you ever tried sitting in a wheelchair for a long
period? It is terrible - especially if your legs press on the edges or you do not have much flesh on your bottom. That is prime bedsores coming.
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. Could they be any more blantantly discriminatory?
Given that stadia are already corporate welfare, they should be tightly regulated to prevent such disgusting behavior. The NFL probably thinks that wheelchairs are a downer for drunken football fans, so they don't want people to have to look at them.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
8. What total bullshit. This family must be
season ticket holders who've attended many games. Why harrass them? Why not provide them with a letter to show the screeners upon entry?

This reminds me of a pathetic scene I witnessed at SEA-TAC last year. The officious TSA personnel pulled aside a wheelchair-bound woman who had to be 90. She was slumped over and looked like she was pretty much on her way out. They pulled off her orthopedic shoes for x-raying and then hoisted her out of the chair while they inspected it and wanded her. It took two people just to keep her propped up. Total waste of resources.


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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. It keeps the PARTY FAITHFUL EMPLOYED
Welcome to the GULAG---amerika 2005

nothing like searching old ladies
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. If they did that to my 93 year old Mom, they would get kicked where the
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:27 AM by Divernan
sun don't shine! And she'd shout a few choice expletives about keeping their *****hands off of her. Folks with Alzheimer's don't cooperate with security personnel! That's why we don't take her on planes anymore!
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. My friend's 90-yr-old grandmother won't fly any more.
She uses a walker, which of course sets of the metall detector, so they require her to "walk" through the detector. When my friend tried once to support her as she tried to make it through the detector without falling, they wouldn't allow him to, and when he was insistent, security warned him he might not be allowed to fly if he gave them any more trouble.

I think it is just that petty people, when given a little power, really get a kick out of abusing the most vulnerable.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Brings back nightmares for me
I had to fly my 83-year-old mother to my home state after she had a series of strokes that turned her brain to swiss cheese. At 5'7" she weighed all of 75lbs, and needed a wheelchair to make the journey because walking more than a few feet exhausted her.

The airport in her city had NO provisions for wheelchairs or for the elderly in getting through security. I was already stressed out to the max by that time, so I practically had a nervous breakdown when I was expected to somehow fight my way through the crowds, shove her wheelchair through the metal detector and get her wanded to boot.

Insanity.
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. Reminds me
of what happened when I flew to Florida a few weeks ago with my 3 year old. I got pulled out of line for the "special" search. While 4 TSA inspectors went through my purse and one carry on with her toys and books, wanding me, sending me back through the screening gate twice and a pat down, I was frantically trying to keep my daughter in sight. On the second walk through the metal screener she came too, which pissed off the screener no end. - "She didn't need to go with you. Please ensure she does not do so again." Yeah, right. You try explaining to an unhappy and upset 3 year old that she can't be with mommy. During the pat down they wanted me face the wall, away from where I could see her. I refused, politely, until I had her next to me. The TSA person was not happy, until I said that I was sure her mother would have done the same with her under similar circumstances.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
34. SEA-TAC TSA personnel suck
I have NEVER met such rude, nasty people in my life. One prodded me with her frigging wand -- PRODDED ME IN THE SHOULDER and gestured to the right. I asked her who the hell she thought she was, Mengle at the Auschwitz ramp selecting people for the gas chambers (this was after I had watched her for 30 minutes be rude, abusive and frankly sociopath to many people)? She screamed, "That's it!" And started freaking out and telling me I would never fly again, etc. Luckily, a supervisor hurried over and took over. I've had many other people tell me SEA-TAC has went crazy the last two years or so.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. In total agreement.
I watched the episode with the elderly woman while I was being felt up by a Nazi who didn't believe me when I politely told her the reason the metal detector had gone off was that it was set to such a high degree of sensitivity that it had picked up the 16 small pins in my ankle from an old surgery. I showed her the 6-inch scar and suggested she wand it. She would have none of that. Instead pulled me out of line and, in full view of everybody, lifted up my shirt and began feeling around my bra hooks while my 12-year-old watched.

Rude, nasty, horrible, poor excuses for human beings. Give them a little power and watch them abuse it. Disgusting.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. or simply poorly trained and underpaid people
in a situation where failure makes the national news or ends up with people dead. Remember their jobs, they get no credit from anyone for letting people through (I assume you smile and say thank you when it works well? or do you only pay attention to them when there's a problem?) on the other hand, if they let something through, they get fired and held up for public ridicule. This for 14 bucks an hour.

I'm not defending them, per se, but the job really, really sucks. you are set up for failure, everyone hates you, and there is no upside. Remember that when you meet one in a bad mood, the last thousand people scowled at her, at the best and yelled at her at the worst.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. It's not the fault of the travelling public that
these people are "poorly trained and underpaid." But it's the public who daily endures the abuse and harrassment. There is no justification for subjecting people to public strip searches or hoisting 90-year-old infirm people out of their wheelchairs. If a screener has reason to believe there's a safety issue, the traveller ought to be questioned further in a private setting.

I have no problem with screeners who do their job professionally. I've witnessed professional screeners at LAX recently who I did, in fact, thank for their courtesy. But what I witnessed first hand in Seattle was abuse and harrassment. The screeners I saw in action at SEA-TAC were better suited to Abu Ghraib duty.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. actually, yes it is the fault of the travelling public
traditionally, security has been paid for by the airlines now it's the government. Last time I checked, we all get to help pick people in the government complain about them, urge your congressman or woman to provide better pay and training.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
10. Good. Then people won't go and the NFL will lose millions...works for me
They are far too pervasive in our society anyway. Most men and some women in our society have completely turned off their brains except for sports.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. My dad told me he stopped watching baseball when the mafia got involved
He told me that when I was a teen. I always thought that was funny. It is big business. The fact that GW got involved with owning a team has got to be corrupt on some level.

But yeah, I know sports fans who turn off their brain to anything but sports. Two republicans come to mind.
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. I understand, kinda, what they're trying to do.
Unfortunately, violently drunk and boorish behavior by fans sneaking banned items into stadiums has caused this. It's less about terrorism and more about people getting hurt with thrown objects. They are trying to stop people who bring in their own stadium cushions packed with projectiles and beer bottles used to throw at players.

The Mom is right, there should be an exception for wheelchair cushions, since they are not carried in, etc. But she has to understand WHY the rule is in place. She can thank that asshole fans who assualt others with projectiles for that.

I'm sure this will be resolved. Also, they update medical files because there are special accommodations made for medical special needs, and those needs can sometimes change.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Given the Vikings recent off field drunken and boorish behavior
they should be searching the team before they're allowed into the stadium.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
15. fear and paranoia, we didn't have to worry about disabled people
with bombs in their wheelschairs before. I don't think the public feels safer.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. there's been a lot of that lately
Sources tell CNN the informant who originally told authorities about the supposed threat to blow up New York City subways with explosives hidden in baby strollers or luggage gave false information.

http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=5&aid=541...

Last bomb scare, the police commissioner said to be on the lookout for anyone seeming "nervous". Does the NYPD hire psychics or what?
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bos1 Donating Member (997 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. I always feel nervous around cops.
Guess that makes me a permasuspect
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Same here
People with firearms tend to do that to me.
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bos1 Donating Member (997 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. I am sure we just need to be medicated and reeducated. nt
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. I am not defending targeting people with special needs in any way here
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 12:38 PM by Debi
Because I agree that it's easier to pick on the weak than the rich...er...I mean strong.

But I've read the posts about people who use wheelchairs (I hate the term wheelchair bound as it infers that the person has no mobility when in fact the wheelchair is what provides the mobility..anyway) getting treated poorly while trying to travel.

Our son uses a wheelchair and we have been treated with dignity and privacy each time he has flown (Iowa/Minnesota/Washington State). We have been pulled from the line and he has had a hand search of his chair and wand search of his body outside of the chair (in a private area) then we have been moved forward to board the plane. Because his father and I are with him we are wanded along with him and had our carryon bags searched right in the room. We usually get to the boarding area before the people standing in line taking their shoes and belts off and running their bags through the x-ray.

Anyway. Just my two cents on the treatment we've received.

I do think searching a disabled individual's wheelchair cushion is above and beyond...wonder if they search the cases of beer and accoutrements being delivered to the sky boxes???
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. ya know, maybe it's time to find something else to be a fan of
I would rather die that attend an NFL game, but that's just me. Still folks who like that, just find something else to do, these people are nuts and really is it worth it?
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
26. Mickey Farrell - an officious mofo who can't kick a duck in the ass
unless he stands on a brick.

What an asshole.

:evilfrown:
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
28. Next on Fox News:
"TNT found in wheelchair seat cushions."
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Halliburton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
29. tagliabue is an ass
he fines people because of the colored socks they wear.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
30. Well then, why don't they get her a special approved cushion
with the Yucs logo on it, right where she sits? Think of the publicity! :spank:
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
32. they're gonna get slammed over this
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
37. Instant Karma: Yucs QB Griese Out for Season with Knee Injury
Zang! The football gods do not cotton to humiliating, intrusive searches, it appears:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-bucs-griese&pr ...

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay quarterback Brian Griese will miss the rest of the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee.

Griese was injured during the second quarter of Sunday's 27-13 victory over Miami, and just before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline the Bucs acquired Tim Rattay as a backup for Chris Simms and Luke McCown.

But until coach Jon Gruden's announcement Wednesday that Griese will be sidelined the remainder of the year, the Bucs had not acknowledged publicly that the quarterback's injury was more than a sprained knee that might keep him out for a lengthy period.

At least Griese will be able to use crutches. Goodness, if he had to use a wheelchair, he might not even be allowed in to go to team meetings! :sarcasm:
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
38. I take issue with the family having to provide
a letter from their daughter's physican. It invades her privacy. If this were me, I'd have a problem disclosing to a private entity who my physican is and precisely why I would need the medical equiptment used.

The authority's letter requests a letter from a doctor confirming medical items needed.

When I applied for a disable license plate, my doctor provided medical documentation - that is understandable, but to provide information to a private entity in the guise of security against terrorist activity is a whole new ball of wax. I trust few with any information about me. I have no idea what they'll do with it, or what data base it will be entered into.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. then they shouldn't go.
I bet there are special areas in the stadium for wheelchairs, better, I would think than the equivalently priced season tickets, which is fine, you should not charge more for wheelchair accessible seats. But you don't think that there are people who would abuse this system to get better seats? of course there are. it's a sick world, but in a competitive accomodation system (if you don't get it someone else will take it) verification isn't a bad idea. If you don't want to provide documentation, don't buy season tickets in the wheelchair zones of the stadium.
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