August 28, 2008

Did Police Eject A Man From Yankee Stadium For Trying To Use The Bathroom During "God Bless America"?

There's reason we call the ballpark in the Bronx Stade Fasciste.

The Gothamist:
Brad Campeau-Laurion [a Red Sox fan] says a uniformed police officer (perhaps off-duty but working security for overtime) forcibly ejected him from the stadium last night during the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Why? He says all he did was try to go to the bathroom while "God Bless America" was played during the 7th inning stretch. His letter reads ...:
I attempted to get up to use the restroom, rather urgently, during the 7th inning stretch as God Bless America was beginning. As I attempted to walk down the aisle and exit my section into the tunnel, I was stopped by a police officer. He informed me that I had to wait until the song was over. I responded that I had to use the restroom and that I did not care about God Bless America.

As soon as the latter came out of my mouth, my right arm was twisted violently behind my back and I was informed that I was being escorted out of the stadium. A second officer then joined in and twisted my left arm, also in an excessively forceful manner, behind my back. ...

I was sitting in the Tier Level, and of course this is the highest level of the stadium and I was escorted in this painful manner down the entire length of the stadium. About halfway down, I informed them that they were hurting me ... One of them said something to the effect that if I continued to speak, he would find a way to hurt me more.

When we reached the exit of the stadium, they confiscated my ticket and the first officer shoved me through the turnstiles, saying "Get the hell out of my country if you don't like it." ...
Plenty more at the link.

The New York Times wrote about this stay-in-your-seat policy back in May 2007 (my emphasis):
Only the Yankees continue to play "God Bless America" at every home game. They are also the only ones to use chains to prevent fans from moving during both songs, which concerns some civil liberties advocates.
Ahhh, freedom.

***

I almost never stand up for any national anthem in any park I visit. While I have rejected the religion my mother practiced while I was growing up (which discouraged such nationalistic displays), I still choose to remain seated. I am there to watch some baseball -- not to either pledge my allegiance to a particular piece of land or sing about the glory of bombs blowing up.

Laura has written about the abuse she has received for sitting quietly during the anthem at Yankee Stadium.

25 comments:

L-girl said...

I hope friends here will forgive my identification. I wrote this pre-conversion.

GBA and the other nationalist, militaristic displays were part of what pushed me away.

redsock said...

This is getting some attention.

Zenslinger said...

I was bitched out by an apopolectic retired serviceman of a teacher in high school for not saying the pledge in homeroom. When he calmed down, he told me that it wasn't so much that I was refusing to say it but that I was kind of lolling around and making a show of not saying it. He was probably right about that part -- I was 15.

redsock said...

In May 2007, the Times wrote about this stay-in-your-seat policy:

"Only the Yankees continue to play "God Bless America" at every home game. They are also the only ones to use chains to prevent fans from moving during both songs, which concerns some civil liberties advocates."

redsock said...

Bill Lee: "Every time I see a Yankees hat, I see a swastika just a little off kilter."

nick said...

I missed this New York Times article that is linked to in the Gothamist post.

Chaining people into a stadium and forbidding movement while forcing them to make the appropriate gesture at an inanimate object while the jingoistic theme is played is recognition of freedowm how?

constraint = freedom.

ish said...

I wonder what's worse... Yankee Stadium during the national anthems or a NASCAR race.

nick said...

I like that Bill Lee quote. When I was a youth, I had a young adult biography of him that I read a number of times. That and the bio of Thomas Alva Edison.

redsock said...

constraint = freedom

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

nick said...

yeah. I was thinking of that.

Jake of All Trades said...

My wife was born with one lung. She's perfectly healthy, but as a result a lot of her other internal organs are shifted to non-traditional places. This includes her heart, which is on the opposite side of her chest than a "normal" person.

When she was in the second grade she had a substitute teacher who stopped the pledge of allegiance and started screaming at her in front of the whole class for "mocking" the pledge by not having her hand over her heart and instead having it elsewhere.

She's near tears, but then one of the "cool" girls who always used to make fun of her stepped in to her defense.

"Oh yeah, well that's where her heart IS!"

That teacher never criticized anyone during the pledge of allegiance for any reason ever again.

L-girl said...

Jake, what a story. No wonder your wife never forgot it.

My father used to tell a story about a teacher humiliating him in 3rd grade. He had a slight speech impediment, exacerbated when he was nervous. He couldn't pronounce a word, and the teacher mimicked and mocked his pronounciation - then went around the room having other students pronounce it to show how easy it was.

Why are people like that teaching small children??

Good going on that cool girl, too.

Daniel said...

Forced Idolatry and violent rent-a-cops. Attending a sporting event is almost as bad as flying- you get to pay for the privilege of being treated like you committed a crime.
Someday, I pray that the the worm will turn and the real criminals will be the ones getting their arms twisted.

L-girl said...

the real criminals will be the ones getting their arms twisted.

After the revolution...

nick said...

this topic came up several times today at work (not by my prompting!) and everyone involved was disgusted, even people who are normally pissed at anyone "disrespecting" our flag or whatnot. That was nice to hear.

Zach said...

I posted about this over at Fire Brand of the AL. What a disgrace. I couldn't agree with both of you more.

FenFan said...

It matters not to me whether people want to stand and salute during "God Bless America" but it isn't the US national anthem so there is no requirement to do so, nor should someone be forced to do so.

I will do so for the Pledge but I see no reason to do so for GBA.

FenFan said...

This was from a Yahoo! MLB Sports Rumors post from this morning:

The NYPD told a different story.

A police spokesman said Campeau-Lampion was thrown out because he was "standing on his seat cursing, using inappropriate language and acting in a disrespectful manner while reeking of alcohol."


Good thing he wasn't rooting for the Red Sox... or was he?

Any stories from the people who were around him when this happened? I didn't see anything there. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

JS said...

I hate people who think it's their place to tell people to what to do during the anthem.

I heard one woman say, "You better take your hat off, buddy" to some guy at the ballpark... another lady screamed at a small group of fans, "What's the matter with you? Why don't you stand up?"

I regret keeping my mouth shut.

L-girl said...

but it isn't the US national anthem so there is no requirement to do so, nor should someone be forced to do so.

Fenfan, with respect, it is not a requirement to stand during the US national anthem.

It is a custom, and you may enjoy participating. But it is not a requirement.

L-girl said...

I hate people who think it's their place to tell people to what to do during the anthem.

I heard one woman say, "You better take your hat off, buddy" to some guy at the ballpark... another lady screamed at a small group of fans, "What's the matter with you? Why don't you stand up?"

I regret keeping my mouth shut.


Good for you! Next time you may act on that regret.

I've tried every tactic, from ignoring, to "it's a free country, right?", to "it's against my religion", to "I'm not telling you what to do, why are you telling me what to do?" and many other lines.

I will say that when I have said nothing, I regret it.

L-girl said...

Good thing he wasn't rooting for the Red Sox... or was he?

He was wearing a Boston cap.

Michael Leggett said...

The N Y P D Cops were, in that Instance, on the Payroll of Yankees Global Enterprises Inc Subsidiary, River Operating Company L L C, as part of a Rent Out agreement between N Y C and Steinbrenner, so they become the Yankees Security Service and are paid by The Yankees. This arrangement came c/o Mr Rudolph Giuliani, who only in recent months, according to the Village Voice, paid the taxes on his 4 World Series Rings, in order to run his ultimately-unsuccessful Presidential Race:

Yankee Stadium II is ONLY 32 Years Old. Don't believe the 85 Year Old Tag. Only the Site is 85 Years Old.

L-girl said...

Yankee Stadium II is ONLY 32 Years Old. Don't believe the 85 Year Old Tag. Only the Site is 85 Years Old.

I say that all the time, as does the author of this blog.

When the current stadium opened, everyone called it "the New Yankee Stadium" for many years.

James said...

That's fucking crazy. My god. At Fenway people mill about in the concourse and order peanuts during the National Anthem, and no one really gives a fuck.

I've got to say, this has really put a damper on my September 15th Yankee Stadium trip. Fucking shithead Yankees.

This is making me very angry. It's the goddamn 7th inning stretch! Of course people are going to want to move around!