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.Plenty more at the link.
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." ...
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.