San Francisco police are accused of intimidating and threatening to arrest a man who was holding up a “John 3:16″ sign in front of AT&T Park prior to a Dodgers-Giants baseball game. The man, Gino Emmerich, has hired attorneys with the Rutherford Institute to take his case. They filed suit in late June against the city, county, its police department and the four officers who allegedly tried to squelch his First Amendment rights.

Emmerich was standing on the public plaza in front of AT&T Park where a camera crew from ESPN was filming a pre-game show before the Giants-Dodgers game. The ESPN producer told him not to flash his sign in view of his cameras or he would be arrested. Holding “John 3:16″ signs at public sporting events has been a part of American sports culture for decades.

Rollen Frederick Stewart, also known as Rock ‘n’ Rollen and Rainbow Man, is believed to have started the tradition when he became a fixture in American sporting events in the 1970s and 80s. He would appear on camera wearing a rainbow-colored afro-style wig and holding up signs reading “John 3:16.” FULL REPORT